The North American cannabis industry continues to grind forward, even without market hype. On March 18th, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (R-KY), Bob Menendez (D – NJ), and Rand Paul (R – KY) introduced a law, the Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana Act of 2021 (“CLAIM Act“) bill is projected to ease federal restrictions around insuring businesses related to cannabis growth, processing and dispensing. Claim Act and Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, will be put in front of congress. Should the tabled legislation get passed together would create a safe zone for financial organizations like banks and insurance providers to conduct business with cannabis companies.
The inability of US cannabis companies to access traditional banking services, capital, and insurance without violating federal law has been a major barrier to significant expansion.
In 2019, the bill was put in front of a Republican-controlled Senate and was promptly defeated in a 321-103 vote. Despite strong efforts in 2020, the disruptive effect of Covid-19 pandemic and Presidential elections keep the bill sidelined. However, this time is different. Democrats have raised the profile of the cannabis sector making it not only as a tax revenue source but as a social equalizer. Democrats now hold a slim majority in the upper and lower house and two bills have bipartisan support, suggest that reintroduced legislation will soon become law.
The cannabis industry is not decelerating in the United States or globally. In fact, the covid pandemic only accelerated consumption. In the US, 44 states have enacted some type of legal cannabis – whether medical, recreational or both. Recent forecasts have U.S. sales reaching $41.3 billion within five years at a compound annual growth rate of 15%