This past weekend, the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expositions held its fourth annual forum at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The CWCB Expo is the most prominent event on the East Coast for the legalized cannabis, medical marijuana, and industrial hemp industries. From entrepreneurs to bankers and members of the medical community, people across the country are eager to invest in one of its fastest growing sectors, which is currently estimated at US$7 billion and expected to exceed US$20 billion by 2020.
The CWCB Expo had several keynote speakers, including NY Senator Diane Savino, Jesse Ventura, and Rev. Al Sharpton. As an American civil rights activist, Rev. Sharpton has voiced his concern over the rising number of marijuana arrests of people of color. He stated, "Just because I don't use marijuana as a Minister, does not mean I have the right to impose my moral values on others. However, I will challenge the cannabis industry and its distributors in states where it is legal to support civil rights movements and ensure that we are not disproportionately excluded from business opportunities."
Among the most notable speakers, however, was Roger Stone, a political adviser to President Trump. At the NY Expo, he announced the formation of the bipartisan United States Cannabis Coalition (USCC), a group whose goal is to protect states’ rights to legalize and regulate marijuana.
Stone highlighted the fact that a major factor to Trump’s small margin of victory in the election was his pledge to support states’ rights in favor of legalization. He addressed, “I am going to be working with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, progressives and libertarians, liberals, and conservatives … to remind the president that he took a strong and forthright position on this issue in the election. It’s our intention to lobby the Trump Administration from the top down to recognize the medicinal value and economics potential of cannabis.”
With more than half of the states in the US changing and expanding their marijuana laws, it is no wonder why the cannabis industry has received such high valuations. With so many more marijuana-related companies bound to go public, investors should keep a close eye on the few high-quality stocks in this sector.