For the pot business, it may not matter if Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton takes the White House. Either way, the cannabis movement will be a big winner in November, said Hadley Ford, CEO of cannabis-financing company iAnthus Capital.
"Hillary has stated in multiple speeches that she will support legalizing marijuana," said Ford. "And if Trump wins, then the Republican party has a history of supporting individual states' rights. Given that the whole legalization process is state-driven, the legalization environment would progress with a few states legalizing it each year as votes pass."
Ford said the most important marijuana industry parts of the upcoming election are in the states that are voting for recreational referendums to pass. These states include California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Arizona and Maine.
"If there is a large voter turnout for the general presidential election, then we can expect a higher chance for the referendums to pass, and vice versa," said Ford.
iAnthus Capital works on financing and managing licensed cannabis operations throughout the U.S. It offers a diversified portfolio of cannabis industry investments for shareholders, including direct equity investments in for-profit license holders and lending facilities, coupled with management services to not-for-profit license holders.
"The state that we feel most positively about is California, as they are polling very positive," said Ford. "Polls are running very close in the rest of the states, and it all will be subject to change in the next few months as the next few months will be ad-heavy both from pros and opposition."
A legalization referendum in California could be a big win nationwide, as California tends to lead trends in the nation.
Ford said there is a lack of standardization in the industry and a dearth of people coming from professional business backgrounds.
"This market is still going from black to white, so there have been a lot of people who have tried to raise money when they don't have a license and then up losing out on a license. That's set a bad stigma for the industry," said Ford.