Canadian marijuana companies look south of their border with thirst and envy. That's because U.S. federal law prohibits them from selling product directly to American consumers, except in very rare instances.
Will their fortunes suddenly change when and if cannabis is fully legalized in this country? Longtime Motley Fool contributor Eric Volkman and healthcare and cannabis bureau chief Corinne Cardina explore that possibility in this clip from Motley Fool Live recorded on Feb. 5, 2021.
Corinne Cardina: What do you think about multistate operators and Canadian pot stocks in this context?
Eric Volkman: I think that optimism is well founded. Ultimately, this is only really going one way. You've seen that at the state level. You saw decriminalization and very tentatively: "OK, we can allow certain people who need medical marijuana to access the product, and that seems to be going OK. We don't have stoned-out zombies wandering the streets. Why don't we try full recreational legalization?" And that went well.
It was an incremental thing, because this is America, don't forget. For decades, we had a war on drugs, and marijuana and anything related to marijuana was lumped into that. I think there is still something in the American mentality that says there's something bad or scary or dangerous about this, and to some degree, we have to keep it kind of under control. That's why you see this incrementalism. I think that's just going to be reflected at the federal level.
Most likely what's going to happen -- almost certainly, I would bet on it -- is that marijuana will be taken off the list of schedule 1 drugs. In other words, the most dangerous and threatening drugs that need to stay illegal [in] the Controlled Substances Act, which is the legislation that regulates this.
Once that happens, again, it depends on the language of any law that's passed. But most likely, what's going to happen is it's going to fall to the states to do whatever they want. Most likely, at least a few of them are going to start to go legal.
Eventually, talking a process of years, talking a process of decades -- again, this is formerly prohibitive America -- I think you will see, if not full and complete legalization in all 50 states and territories, at least fairly comprehensive, fairly close to that. That's what I would expect.