Despite the fact that the ban on medical marijuana was lifted this year, recreational cannabis won’t see legalization at the federal level in 2016.
However, approval in Massachusetts could set off a cascade of similar laws down the East Coast, at least according to Colorado’s Sage Analytics, a company that makes devices for analyzing the potency of pot.
According to Herald News On December 22, Sage forecasted that Massachusetts legalization could be a “catalyst” for East Coast legalization:
“Currently, the country is too divided on the issue of legalizing cannabis to force a federal mandate,” Sage Analytics wrote in a Dec. 22 forecast assembled based on the beliefs of company management.
“However, we anticipate that several other large states may adopt legalized adult-use cannabis.”
The “catalyst” sage is predicting stems from the anticipation by the company that the DEA will soon declassify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
Company officials predict, though, that the implementation of a regulated marijuana system will face challenges.
“We anticipate complications arising when new laws are scheduled to go into effect, and perhaps even some court challenges,” company officials said.
“Specifically, growers will no longer be able to sell directly to dispensaries, and all product and testing will be done through licensed distributors.”
This kind of red tape and bureaucratic complication is not something the cannabis industry has had to deal with as much as other industries of a similar scale. What makes the marijuana business unique is that the federal prohibitions essentially turn it into a cash only business.
Sage Analytics also predicts that technologies from other industries, including the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors, will be adopted in the cannabis industry, and testing labs will change “in order to provide quicker, more economical results across a wider spectrum of measurements,” including pesticides and molds as well as potencies.
Marijuana legalization advocates in Massachusetts are on track to put a binding initiative petition on the ballot in 2016.
But the proposal faces opposition from Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
State senators researching the impact of legalized marijuana are gearing up for a trip to Colorado during the second week of January.
If things go well, the East Coast could be looking at a weed-legal 2016.