Despite an ongoing trend of state-level cannabis legalization, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported a surprising increase in marijuana plant seizures last year, while cannabis-related arrests significantly dropped.
The DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) saw its highest number of plant seizures since 2011. However, the number of marijuana-related arrests dipped by 24 percent in 2022.
Morgan Fox, NORML’s political director, attributed the high levels of cannabis eradication and interdiction to the continued federal prohibition and overtaxing of state-licensed cannabis businesses. Fox advocated for more sensible federal and state policies that enable regulated cannabis markets and rectify the damages caused by long-term prohibition.
California, despite having legalized cannabis, accounted for nearly 90 percent of the DEA’s eradicated plants and over half of all marijuana-related arrests. The state’s prohibition of licensed retailers in most jurisdictions has allowed illegal producers to continue thriving.
Federal data indicates a continued decrease in federal marijuana trafficking cases and cannabis seizures, suggesting that regulated marijuana markets for adults could reduce the demand for illegal products and lead to fewer arrests. This aligns with the findings of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the Government Accountability Office, and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.
The rise of legal cannabis states domestically, combined with international reform efforts, has lessened the demand for illicit marijuana from Mexico, hinting at the potential benefits of further cannabis legalization and regulation. Other regulations and market news you’ll need to know includes updates on the US debt ceiling you can read by clicking here.
Amid this news, there are possible investment opportunities for investors. The first being Curaleaf. Despite experiencing some struggles recently such as a delayed license renewal and a postponed earnings report, it remains one of the largest publicly traded cannabis stocks by market cap. Its revenue is higher than any other company on this list. However, potential investors should be aware that this sector is highly volatile, as demonstrated by Curaleaf’s Q1 performance where its stock fell 44%.
Green Thumb Industries, on the other hand, is a U.S. cannabis consumer packaged goods company with impressive growth. Despite being one of the largest companies in the sector, it is still a relatively small stock with a market cap under $2 billion. In 2022, its revenue grew by 13.9%, but it’s share price fell nearly 60%. Despite this, the company continues to progress on the sales front, which could be seen as a potential opportunity for investors. For more investment opportunities, you don’t want to miss updates on the Wealthy Venture Capitalist.
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