Democrats have won the US Senate as it was just announced that Jon Ossoff beat David Perdue in Georgia, assuring a Democratic majority for President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda. This comes on the heels of last night’s other Senate race in the state where Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler, thus delivering as the New York Times puts it, “an emphatic, final rebuke to President Trump in his last days in office.”
More than that, the Senate victories pave the way for the federal decriminalization of cannabis. Just last month the House passed The MORE Act (initially sponsored by then-Senator Kamala Harris), a bill that would “decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes.”
As we said at the time, the bill’s future was uncertain because it had to get through the then Republican controlled Senate: “[I]t will come down to who controls the Senate, meaning it’ll depend on what happens in the Jan. 5 Georgia Senate runoffs: If Democrats win both seats, they’ll have effective though narrow control of both houses of Congress.” And now we’re there.
This is also the reason cannabis industry stocks opened close to 20% higher this morning – in anticipation of the Ossoff win, hence the likelihood of decriminalization and the countrywide opening up of the industry.
All of which came before today’s other big news that will affect the industry: President-elect Joe Biden’s reported nomination of Merrick Garland to be his attorney general. To begin with, no incoming AG will be as bad for the cannabis industry as the last two, Jeff Sessions (Ding-Dong: Cannabis Foe Jeff Sessions Is Gone And The Industry Rejoices) then William Barr (DOJ whistleblower to testify that Barr’s personal anti-marijuana sentiment fueled cannabis industry investigations).
But aside from that, there’s reason to think Garland will take a rational approach. As Marijuana Business Daily put it today: “Merrick Garland’s position on cannabis is somewhat of an unknown, though in the past he has given fair consideration to the science involved in cannabis policy. We expect that he will be better than the last two attorneys general and will at least continue the policy of respecting state cannabis laws and programs.”
As the final convulsions of Trump era trauma take place in Washington this afternoon: “Our democracy is under unprecedented assault,” said Joe Biden in a passionate public plea, we’re also ushering in a new era of what’s beginning to look like – dare I say it – hope and change. As one cannabis expert puts it: