With just over 30 days until Election Day, the cannabis industry is surely wondering what impact the results of the 2020 election could have on cannabis policy reform efforts, particularly when it comes to the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
“The industry has two choices, like the rest of the country—more of the same or change,” Mark Alderman, chairman of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “More of the same looks like where we are now [with Trump] in the White House and [Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell in the Senate. As we’ve seen in the past four years and as I would expect to see the next four years if they win, … the prospects for federal action on cannabis would be minimal.”
As far as Biden, while the former vice president was largely a prohibitionist during his time as a senator, some industry stakeholders say that he, like much of the American public, has evolved quite a bit on the issue since then.
“Biden’s history as a senator, by and large, was pretty terrible on this issue,” says Kris Krane, founder and president of 4Front Ventures, the parent company of Mission Dispensaries. “When I was working professionally in Washington, D.C. on the reform side of this issue, we had two major opponents on the Democratic side of the aisle and that was Dianne Feinstein and Joe Biden. He was always a drug warrior. He was never supportive of reform. He was arguably one of the worst Democrats in the Senate on this issue, so it gives me a little bit of pause about him being a real advocate for any kind of reform, given that he’s always been a pretty staunch prohibitionist.”
Still, Krane acknowledges that Biden now supports decriminalization and