While the industry likely focused on the five states that had cannabis legalization measures on the ballot Election Day, as well as the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, several other issues, including shifts in Congress and gubernatorial races, also have the power to shape the market.
Among the notable gubernatorial races were those in Vermont, New Hampshire and Indiana, where all three of the states’ incumbent governors were up for—and won—re-election.
In Vermont, voters re-elected Gov. Phil Scott (R), who recently permitted legislation to become law that will establish a taxed-and-regulated adult-use cannabis market in the state.
Now that Scott has won re-election, Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), said, “It’s pretty much a continuation of the status quo in Vermont.”
Scott defeated his Democratic opponent, David Zuckerman, by a nearly 70 to 30 margin, while Democrats maintained control of the state Senate and House.
Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D) lost her bid for re-election, which Simon said, “could be taken as a small positive,” as she was largely viewed as an opponent of cannabis policy reform efforts.
Aside from this change, Simon believes cannabis policy in Vermont is where it was headed before Election Day.
“The governor seems resigned to allowing a board to be created and to start doing its work, so they’ll start building that [Cannabis] Control Board, writing the rules, getting legislative approval, and there will be an ongoing process of slowly implementing the law that was passed,” he said. “[Scott] could’ve vetoed the bill and he didn’t, so it’s law, and his executive