In this exclusive interview, Morgan Fox, media relations director of the National Cannabis Industry Association discusses the aftermath of a historic election night.
On Nov. 3, voters approved recreational cannabis use in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota. Mississippi joined South Dakota in approving medical use initiatives.
Fox addresses the next steps, particularly the regulatory work that needs to be done to see these initiatives through, including state-level lobbying and advocacy to make sure details, such as competitive tax rates, are implemented fairly.
Fox also covers the latest Gallup poll, which revealed record-high levels of support — 87% of Americans — for legalization. He says both the election results and the poll should be a wake-up call for conservative lawmakers who, if they don't support cannabis initiatives, may want to at least stay out of the way.
A cannabis advocate since 2008, Fox has been on the losing end of many political battles, but now that the wind is at supporters' backs, momentum has never been stronger for cannabis reform. Even in an extremely divisive political climate, he notes that a majority of voters have at least rallied around cannabis.
He also discusses how the pandemic has impacted the cannabis industry. The crisis not only put some regulatory initiatives on the back burner, but capital investment remains low even though retail sales are up due to increased consumer demand. Although many businesses have been able to stay afloat during the pandemic, the industry is strained, and unable to benefit from federal funding that has helped many businesses in other industries survive.