business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Boston Globe this morning has an interesting observation - that every declared candidate for the presidency, at least to this point, favors at least some level of marijuana legalization.

The story says that “all 12 official Democratic candidates, as well as the potential Republican hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, told the Globe they now support full nationwide legalization, Canada-style.

“President Trump, meanwhile, has said he supports states’ rights to legalize.”

Ten states - representing one in four US residents - have legalized cannabis.

John Lapp, a Democratic national campaign strategist, tells the Globe, “There’s been a tremendous evolution — marijuana legalization, if you look back, was really something for fringe candidates … It’s just not very controversial at all now.”

The story notes that “the political sea change has followed public opinion: About 62 percent of Americans want marijuana to be legal, almost double the 35 percent who said so in 2008, according to the Pew Research Center.

“In addition, political analysts say, the changes in candidates’ views were driven by potential tax revenues and job creation, the popularity of reducing mass incarceration, and an aging population interested in the potential medical benefits.”

CNBC reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “will hold its first public hearings on CBD in April as the agency weighs rules allowing companies to add the popular cannabis-based compound to food.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the story says, “floated what a possible framework might look like. He suggested high concentrations might be regulated as a drug that has more stringent oversight while lower concentrations could be categorized as food products that come with an easier review process.

“He said the cannabis compound has possible therapeutic benefits and a regulatory process for pharmaceutical-grade CBD will give drugmakers more incentive to research and develop CBD-derived drugs.”
KC's View: