Why President Trump Will Legalize Pot
I've got two charts for you, and they sum up to my professional opinion that President Trump will legalize marijuana on a federal level. And he'll do it around the 2020 election.
This will have earthshaking consequences. Not only for marijuana stocks, but for everything from real estate to private prisons.
Here's the first chart. It's President Trump's approval rating.
Sure, you can cherry-pick a poll to show whatever result you want. This is the FiveThirtyEight.com consensus of polls, combining all the major polling data.
This chart covers his entire presidency. The thing that really hits me is that President Trump's approval (the green line) really doesn't change. No matter what happens. For good or bad, he can't seem to change voters' minds about him.
Image credit: FiveThirtyEight
Well, here's a winning issue, Mr. President: Cannabis.
Gallup has the latest numbers on the "demon weed" ...
Image credit: Gallup
According to Gallup pollsters, 66% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. That is a new high in a trend that Gallup has polled for more than nearly half a century. It's also three years in a row that support for legal weed has increased and established a new record.
All the major Democratic presidential candidates — and there are enough of them (11!) — have come out in favor of legalizing marijuana.
What President Trump might do is remind voters that President Obama reneged on a 2008 campaign promise to stop busting medical marijuana. In fact, the Obama administration loosed the dogs of the DEA on state-legal medical cannabis.
So will the Democrats legalize pot next time around? I wouldn't bet on it. They'll wring their hands, and dither and obfuscate.
I also wouldn't bet on the Democrats winning the White House. And I have a pretty good track record on that. I predicted Trump would win the White House since February 2016. At the same time, ace polling guru Nate Silver said Hillary Clinton had a 79% chance of winning in November. He was wrong and I was right then. I'm probably right now.
It's still early. A lot could happen. I may change my mind.
But what would seal the deal for President Trump is if he legalizes pot.
Not right away, of course. He needs to tell Americans he'll legalize marijuana ONLY if they vote for him in the 2020 election.
Talk about a turnout-booster!
Will this resonate with older Americans? You bet your racy granny panties it will! People 65 and older are the fastest-growing group of the marijuana-using population. And old people vote! The number of graying "baby boomers" consuming legal cannabis grew by 25% in the past year. That's according to a new survey by marijuana delivery platform Eaze.
Will it resonate with Middle America? Heck, son, flyover country is the part of the America that is on the cusp of legalization. For example, Wisconsin just approved a bunch of marijuana-related ballot measures.
Will it resonate with young people? Who cares?! They don't vote. Just kidding. About caring, I mean. Young people don't vote in the numbers they should. But yes, this will likely be very popular with a certain undeservedly smug demographic.
Legalization is coming, my friends.
And whatever you think of President Trump, you must admit he is very cunning when it comes to politics. He knows how to get out ahead of a wave.
In 2015, then-candidate Trump said marijuana's legality should be up to the states to decide. And as president, Trump personally agreed to a deal with Sen. Cory Gardner (R.-Colo.) last year to prevent the federal government from challenging Colorado's marijuana laws.
He also replaced his weed-hating attorney general — and rogue Keebler elf — Jeff Sessions with the more amenable William Barr. During his nomination process, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he wouldn't target cannabis businesses that comply with individual states' marijuana laws. Barr even put that pledge in writing.
More Marijuana News
Fact #1: Weed Banking is Getting Closer
This week, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bipartisan bill that would allow state-licensed cannabis businesses to access banking and financial services. This would remove a huge blockage that thwarts many marijuana-related businesses.
Fact #2: Even CVS and Walgreens are Turning Green
Both pharmacy-focused stores are going to sell CBD oil — marijuana's respectable, therapeutic cousin.
Fact #3: A New U.S.-Focused Fund is Coming
Evolve Funds Group is planning to launch an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) focused strictly on U.S. cannabis stocks. This will be the fifth marijuana ETF, and probably the third biggest.
The two biggies are the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX: HMMJ) and the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE: MJ).
You might think MJ would focus on U.S. marijuana companies, but its biggest holding is Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB), a Canadian company. It holds plenty of Canadian companies, as well as tobacco companies.
The smaller ones are the Horizons Junior Marijuana Growers Index ETF (TSX: HMJR) and The Evolve Marijuana ETF (TSX: SEED).
So, what do you think a new fund will do? I think it will buy up shares, and that's going to be bullish for U.S. cannabis stocks.
This news is the leading edge of the next Green Wave. And I think President Trump is smart enough to ride that wave.
Those ETFs give you a bushel of ways to stick plenty of green in your wallet. Individual stocks will likely outperform. Remember to do your own research before buying anything. And stay tuned to this column for more actionable ideas as the U.S. moves ever-closer to full legalization.
All the best,
P.S. There are many ways to play cannabis. And today, I am putting the finishing touches on a new project on this topic: a cannabis stock ratings model that is based on the Weiss Ratings. It aims to help investors make fortunes in cannabis, CBD, hemp and more. If you want to find out about it before anyone else, start keeping a close eye on your inbox as soon as this week.