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Marijuana Gets Some Southern Exposure

0 | By Michael A. Robinson

As you’re well aware by now, I’m a pot stock enthusiast, and think investments in the right cannabis companies represent some of the best opportunities on the market right now.

That’s because… when laws pass, stocks soar.

In the past few years, we’ve watched 33 states and Washington D.C. greenlight medical and/or recreational cannabis. That means that most Americans are living in states with some form of legal marijuana.

But there’s a lot of people who are just as opposed to marijuana as folks were back in 1937, when the federal government cracked down on the sale of cannabis.And many of the current holdouts are located down South. Georgia, and Texas, for instance – have legalized marijuana only in extreme cases, like severe epilepsy.

But that could soon change.

In Texas, the current law – which was passed in 2015 – legalized medical marijuana in extreme cases: that is, for severe epilepsy that has not responded to two Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments. Under Texas’s law, less than 1% of the population is eligible for medical marijuana treatment plans, and they must get approval from two different neurology specialists before they can be treated.

That’s not really medical legalization, if you ask me.

Back in 2015, when Texas legislator passed the Compassionate Use Act, it seemed that the conversation regarding cannabis laws were hopeless. “As governor, I will not allow it,” former Governor Greg Abbott declared.

Now, three years after this “reform,” the winds are beginning to shift in the Lone Star state. State Senator José Menéndez stands strongly behind the change. “It doesn’t make sense that politicians are picking winners and losers among patients,” he said on the issue. “We’ll leave it up to the doctor to decide which patients need that particular medication and which ones don’t.”

He’s pushing to expand the medical marijuana program to include common conditions like Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and terminal cancer. The expansion will open up the Texas marijuana market…which is a crucial, because Texas makes up about 8.6% of the U.S. population.

Fact is, Texas in the second largest state in the country, population-wise. About 28.3 million people call Texas home, and its marijuana market could hit $3 billion in only a few years, according to Arcveiw Market Research.

Legalizing medical marijuana for more uses would only be the first step toward that $3 billion market.

Of course, Texas isn’t the only state looking to expand its cannabis laws. An Arcview Market Research study shows the existing medical marijuana market could climb to $1.3 billion by 202 in Florida. But new Governor Ron DeSantis doesn’t want to settle for just the medical marijuana market. His inauguration represents “a new day in Florida” on marijuana issues, state Senator Rob Bradley said on the eve of DeSantis’ swearing in.

Folks in Georgia, too, are looking at expanding medical marijuana qualifications.  A few promising new bills would specifically benefit cannabis researchers. But that’s just the beginning. Last month, the group studying Georgia’s medical marijuana laws voted to pursue legislation that would grant licenses to marijuana growers, manufacturers, and distributors.

If approved, Georgia’s 6,000 medical marijuana patients could legally obtain cannabis for the first time. They would also be able to grow it for the first time.

These are exciting times, and of course we’ll be following the legalization trail closely in 2019.

Keeping up-to-date on the latest cannabis business trends – and, more importantly, the best ways to play the market – are why I’m thrilled to be part of a brand new organization – The National Institute of Cannabis Investors (NICI), where I’m standing board member. That means I get all the marijuana news, as soon as – if not before – it hits headlines… as well as the skinny on the firms best positioned to take advantage of the expanding legal cannabis universe.

Now, if you want to learn more about what we’ve been up to at NICI, it’s easy.

Just click here.

Have a great weekend!

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