Cannabis In Congress 💸

Who is the elected official opposed to cannabis, while betting big on its success...

Welcome to Four PM — a newsletter that provides the top cannabis industry news from Canada to California.

In Today’s Issue 💬

→ Hypocrisy In Congress. 👀

→ Competition In Canada. 🦈

→ Mayors Embrace Cannabis. ✅

The Politician Cashing In On Cannabis

Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx is betting big on cannabis…

68% of Americans are estimated to be in favor of legalizing cannabis.

This number has been steadily increasing in recent years, however, despite all the support for legislative reform — the republican party remains staunch opponents of legalizing cannabis.

The double standard…

The republican party might be opposed to the legalization of cannabis, however, one Republican Congresswoman isn’t letting this stand in her way of cashing in on cannabis as sales continue to soar.

Per the financial disclosures, Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has made at least six investments into Altria Group since September 2020.

Although Altira is primarily a cigarette company, they have invested a whopping $1.8 billion USD into Cronos Group, for 45% of the company.

Cronos Group is one of the largest producers of cannabis in Canada.

What the records show…

In all, records show she has purchased somewhere between $79,000 and $210,000 USD in Altria stock.

This completely undermines her position on cannabis having spent her career advocating against cannabis legalization.

Foxx voted against the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement Act in 2018 — a bill that would decriminalize cannabis in the U.S.

Our Take

There are over 40,000 people currently in prison for cannabis in the U.S.

The same politician who is opposed to ending the criminalization of cannabis in the U.S is the same person who stands to gain from its success.

I fail to understand how someone who so clearly opposes the legalization of cannabis could simultaneously be seeking to profit from the commercialization of cannabis.

Canadian Cannabis Leaders Decline

Large cannabis producers market share is declining in the Canadian market…

One year ago, the top 5 producers of cannabis in Canada commanded over 50% of the share of total cannabis sales.

This has since declined some 20% to 40% as of August 2021.

Buying success…

As large cannabis producers in Canada such as Hexo, Canopy & Aurora continue to see declining market share, their solution to maintain their market dominance in Canada is to acquire competitors.

  • → Aphria combined forces with Tilray in a deal worth $8 billion USD.

  • → Hexo spent over $1 billion USD in 2021 alone acquiring competitors.

  • → Canopy spent over $340 million USD acquiring Supreme Cannabis.

Quality or quantity?

A key question every Canadian cannabis producer ought to be asking themselves is are they optimizing for quality or quantity when it comes to their production of cannabis.

For products such as edibles or beverages, THC is an ingredient, however, 69.9% of all cannabis sales in Canada is dried flower and 54.5% of all sales in the U.S is dried flower.

This highlights the opportunity to focus on dried flower alone and emerge a big winner, as opposed to trying to produce every form factor of cannabis such as many large producers do today.

Our Take

Dried flower is by far the most important category of cannabis in Canada and in the U.S and this will remain the case for many more years to come.

Old Pals is a great example of a brand succeeding by focusing on flower alone in the U.S, and although Cookies do some experimentation in other form factors, the brand is really built around dried flower.

U.S Mayors Call For The Legalization Of Cannabis

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is calling for the legalization of cannabis…

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more people.

Founded in 1932, in the shadow of the depression to gain federal aid for U.S cities, the USCM is currently considered to be one of the most influential political forces in the United States.

Turning to cannabis…

With 18 states already having legalized cannabis for adult-use purposes, and 36 states having done so for medical cannabis — the USCM is turning its attention to the cannabis industry.

At the 89th annual meeting, members voted to call on President Biden to legalize cannabis, expunge prior cannabis convictions and allow for sales in a way that seeks to promote social equity.

The group is seeking to highlight the fact that the U.S. government has owned a patent recognizing the medical value of cannabis for decades.

Money talks…

The cannabis industry currently provides over 300,000 full-time jobs in the U.S and is on track to surpass 420,00 full-time jobs by Q1 2022.

The industry “is likely to become a global multi-trillion dollar industry, with early U.S. sales already generating billions of dollars” — USCM said.

Looking beyond the economic impact legalizing cannabis can have, the group is looking to put protections in place for the thousands of Americans who use cannabis for medical purposes.

That includes “amending policies to specifically protect cannabis patients from THC-based drug screening for access to employment and public resources such as housing, financial assistance, health care, and education.”

Overwhelming support…

The resolution received an outpouring of support from the group which represents 1,400 mayors from cities all across the U.S.

All but 3 mayors voted against this resolution.

  • → Francis Suarez of Miami, Florida.

  • → Christina Muryn of Findlay, Ohio.

  • → Bryan Barnett of Rochester Hills, Michigan.

An interesting move by mayor Francis Suarez of Miami who is actively making a great effort to attract new companies to the region.

Our Take

The pressure on the president-elect to take action to end the prohibition of cannabis continues to grow.

We will likely have to wait until the next term to see cannabis legalized at a federal level.

That said, the overwhelming support this resolution received suggests we will continue to see more & more states legalizing cannabis.

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