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John Boehner On Federal Legalization Of Cannabis: It's A Matter Of When, Not If

Jayson Derrick

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner told Fox Business News on Monday it's a matter of when, and not if, federal laws will permit the use of cannabis.

What Happened

Boehner's stance against legalization of cannabis throughout his three-decade career in politics has shifted since leaving Washington. After hearing multiple anecdotal stories about legal medical cannabis users, he said he wanted to "be a part of this discussion."

Medical cannabis is legal in 33 states and legal for recreational use in 10 states. As such, Boehener said federal laws are "out of step" with the majority of individual states who moved towards legalization.

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Boehner went on to say he believes the STATES Act, a piece of legislation that could usher in a legal cannabis economy, has a "very good chance of passing" sometime in 2020. This would help push the U.S. government "out of the way" and offer a better regulatory environment for businesses that are legal to operate in their respective states.

The U.S. is "woefully behind" the rest of the world in terms of cannabis-related capital markets and research, Acreage Holdings CEO Kevin Murphy said in the same interview. Federal laws and the regulatory environment "definitely is not" caught up with all of the excitement seen in the sector.

The former House speaker joined the board of Acreage Holdings Inc (OTC: ACRGF) in 2018.

What's Next

The future is bright for the sector as New Jersey lawmakers have a plan to legalization recreational cannabis for adults.

"We believe as New Jersey goes, New York will follow, Connecticut shortly behind," said Murphy.

The 43 million people across the handful of states in the region will create "exponential growth" for Acreage, he said. The company already has sufficient inventory to supply all of New Jersey with medical cannabis.

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Photo by Terra Eclipse/Wikimedia.

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