While the Congressional inaction on cannabis banking legislation is disappointing, it has been clear for quite a time that the legislative branch of the US Federal Government is unlikely to pave an effective path forward to a national cannabis market or integrated supply chain.
The complexity of reform, the myriad levels of information and competing narratives, as well as general political noise, make change, either incremental OR comprehensive, exceeding difficult.
Additional complexity around the relative maturity of state markets, the complexity of meeting a diverse consumer base, and VERY nuanced information stream with heavy investments in competing frames make a successful national dialogue around what to do and how to do it a project with a very long time-horizon.
At the same time, there is significant hope as we look to 2023. Less discussed in the aftermath of President Biden's recent cannabis-related statement, he provided specific directives for both DOJ and HHS to support developing a more effective path forward for the industry. Overshadowed by the decriminalization question, and the relative impact of federal expungement, is the potential for a path forward through Executive Branch action.
Agencies can change internal protocols related to regulated supply-chain operators without intervention from the Legislative Branch and politically it would be a good choice for the Democrats as they look to 2024 to support more effective paths to market, and more equitable legal-market access for everyone.
The reality is that while there are hurdles to be overcome, the path to an integrated cannabis supply chain, to more effectively meet and extend cannabis consumer demand for high-quality products from suppliers willing to jump through compliance hoops is not insurmountable, and need not wait on legislation from congress to get us there. The government owes action to the suppliers who choose to participate in the more competitive, more rigorous, more bureaucratic system. If we hope to get a majority of consumers into a well-regulated marketplace it must be cost-effective to do so, and profitable for business owners on a long-term basis.
In 2023 we will continue to advocate for policy-change that supports patient access, more effective research, efficient tracking and IP protections, and avenues to bring these products more directly to where those consumers can partake. The reality is that patients, regulated market players, and bureaucrats must all be united to more effectively define what those thresholds, processes, compliance and enforcement looks like on a go-forward basis.
Significant diversity still exists amongst and between different state markets that will need to be resolved. But we have hope in 2023 that the Biden administration will use the opportunity of Legislative impasse to move forward policies supporting wider access to plant medicine for more people through the avenues available for Executive action. It’s entirely possible to change bureaucratic barriers from within, especially when our health systems are in such dire straights due to ongoing strains far beyond our industry.
While we applaud the cannabis congressional caucuses success in moving forward standalone cannabis legislation for the first time since 1971, we also recognize that the expungement process and reparations for the communities most impacted by the war on drugs is slow and remains stalled in many places, leaving too many to not reap the benefits, while too few continue to try to consolidate market ownership.
At Indiva Advisors LLP, we will continue to support and advocate for our small business clients participating in regulated marketplaces in cannabis, hemp and psilocybin markets, all of which are subject to additional costs and penalties for participating in what is currently a gray area. As policy evolves to meet demand and current market expectations, we hope to work with the Biden administration and other federal, national, state, local, municipal and interest group associations to coordinate policy on 280E reform and drafting a path forward towards success for the most diverse, sustainable, organic, equity focused businesses trying to provide high quality products to a consumer base demanding them.
Anyone interested in participating in advocacy or who has thoughts to contribute are encouraged to get in touch.