In the United States, The Marijuana Industry has seen limited expansion and slowed gains at the stock market, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequence of widespread unemployment. Plagued by the 2019’s inconsistent acquisitions, investors may view future involvement with Big Cannabis as very risky, despite its high demand among the depressed and anxious, and its status as an essential service. In the state of California, sales are expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2020. According to the Cannabis Law Report, at least 10 states in the US are projected to make more than $500 million for the year.
Even still, the marijuana industry is awaiting a bailout in the form of The SAFE Banking Act, which is an addendum to the $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or The HEROES Act, which was to be implemented with the COVID-19 relief package sent out to businesses in March. Attorneys General have joined the cacophony of spurned voices beseeching the Senate to pass the bill.
The Orlando Sentinel posited, “the U.S. federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug and any money from cannabis businesses deposited into a U.S. bank account violates the Bank Secrecy Act and can be seized…as COVID-19 continues to paralyze our economy, I share the concern of many others that the illicit drug market will threaten the survival of legitimate cannabis businesses because they lack access to traditional financial institutions including federal recovery assistance.”
One such case of “illicit” activity comes from Calexico in 2019. Businesses without proper licensing were paying the city under the table in exchange for operating – a form of bribery. Jackie McGowan, a consultant out of California who claims the practice is ‘absolutely prevalent’ insists, “As long as the state continues to insist that locals retain local control, then we will continue to see local corruption.”