In a recent Q&A on HuffPost, Nicole Smith, founder and CEO of Denver-based Mary’s Medicinals, an innovative business that produces cannabis nutraceutical products and transdermal patches, answered a question about the future of marijuana regulation in the U.S.
The question by the HuffPost: “There are three levels of cannabis control — state, federal and international. What do you foresee in those areas?”
Smith answered: “There are nearly a dozen states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii, Missouri, Ohio, and Montana) that are in various stages of trying to get ballot initiatives for general legalization in 2016. It is too early to know which states will actually get something on the ballot, but we know several will. Vermont may be the first state to legalize recreational use through a legislative process.
At the federal level, the prospect of someone new entering the White House presents quite a bit of uncertainty. Some conservative presidential candidates have threatened to vigorously enforce federal marijuana laws, while Bernie Sanders promises to end the drug war completely. Without trying to predict the outcome of the election, let’s just say there are many possibilities, but a reversal of state legalization is very unlikely.
Internationally things are also very exciting but complex. With a new Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau), Canada is poised to be the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis, and many other nations are exploring the possibility of following suit. Rumors continue to swirl about a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that will call on governments around the world to decriminalize drug use and possession for personal consumption. Whether or not that will happen in 2016, legalization will continue to draw headlines throughout the year.”
Smith was named a Denver Business Journal Outstanding Woman in Business for 2015 and Mary’s Medicinals won “Most Innovative Product” at the Cannabis Business Awards two years in a row.