- Marc Hauser
Cannabis Musings - September 29, 2022
Friends – earlier this week, think tank The Brookings Institution published a fascinating and unsurprising study explaining that Congressional primary candidates simply don’t see cannabis as a policy priority. Indeed, the analysis of positions announced by candidates found that “clashing against the idea that the popularity of cannabis reform should be pushing legislators to make clear statements of support for reform, 86.4% of candidates either made no mention, staked out an unclear position, or explicitly opposed cannabis reform”.
Long-time readers of these Cannabis Musings know that I’m something of a skeptic when it comes to the industry’s wishful thinking about Congress. How many times has SAFE been submitted for consideration? The entire state-legal industry exists solely as a matter of the grace of the federal government, but that doesn’t mean that the government must or will (note that I didn’t say “should”) do anything to make it easy. Why? Well, in my slightly realpolitik opinion, there are simply bigger problems in the world than assisting the cannabis industry, at least from a political capital perspective. Expecting Congress to act because it’s the “right thing to do” es iz vet a zets in drerd (it’s as pointless as punching the ground).
If anything is going to happen, there’s a real need to change perceptions about cannabis. We’ve talked before about this problem – the industry is fighting against a history of D.A.R.E., Just Say No, very special episodes of The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes, and other programming that, correct or incorrect (or both), shaped the opinions of those who are now either in government or driving the message. Is it really that much of a surprise that cannabis either isn’t major issue for candidates, or there’s still too much political risk for making it an issue?
What’s to be done? Well, one should generally not take marketing advice from an ex-lawyer turned consultant, so instead one should look at what the Cannabis Media Council is doing. Announcing its launch earlier this week, this non-profit group, founded by a team of media and marketing makhers, is going to work to change the narrative about cannabis through mainstream media channels. (Full disclosure – I’m proudly an advisor to the CMC; unpaid, lest anyone think I’m shilling for it). It’s a trade group that represents the entire industry, and is doing something to rewrite the agenda into something positive.
If cannabis is going to be truly accepted as a legitimate, safe, and acceptable adult recreational and medical product; if the industry is going to be integrated into the national marketplace; and if there’s ever any hope of getting Congress to act, the industry needs to do everything it can to shed the image that’s been created for it.
Finally, I was quoted! Thanks to Jeremy Berke @ Insider for talking to me about the capital challenges facing cannabis companies today.
Be seeing you.
© 2022 Marc Hauser and Hauser Advisory. None of the foregoing is legal, investment, or any other sort of advice, and it may not be relied upon in any manner, shape, or form. Subscribe to Cannabis Musings at hauseradvisory.com.