The 2016 election was a milestone for the cannabis movement. Cannabis was on the ballot in nine states and eight voted overwhelmingly in favor of reform. Four states (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada) voted to legalize recreational cannabis, while an additional four (Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Montana) voted to establish or expand medical cannabis programs. This brings the number of legal medical cannabis states to 28 and the number of recreational states to eight. One-quarter of all Americans now live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal, and nearly 200 million Americans — two-thirds of the total population — live in a medical cannabis state.
These victories, which would not have been possible without the hard work of activists and campaigners across the country, will only further the momentum for change. Legalization won by a wide margin in both red and blue states, demonstrating that legal cannabis is a mainstream issue supported by Americans around the country and across the political spectrum. Arkansas, North Dakota, Maine, and Montana are some of the most conservative states in the union. Florida is one of the most populous states on the East Coast, and California is the world’s sixth largest economy. Only Arizona failed to pass its measure by a narrow margin.
Support for legal cannabis was one of the few mandates voters delivered yesterday. Last night's results have demonstrated clearly that cannabis is not a partisan issue.
As financial markets are looking increasingly uncertain around the world, legal cannabis is proving to be one of the most compelling opportunities for investors looking for big financial and social returns. We are excited about the future of cannabis in the U.S. and believe reforms here will reverberate around the globe. We are witnessing a global paradigm shift with regard to cannabis from the U.S. to Canada to Europe to Australia. Australia will soon launch its medical cannabis program. Germany is poised to become the second G-7 nation after Canada to legalize medical cannabis at the federal level. Canada will table legislation in the spring to make their country the first G-7 nation with a federally legal recreational program.
The end of cannabis prohibition is inevitable, and we look forward to witnessing the progress ahead.