Marijuana Legalization

The overwhelming majority of Americans support nationwide legalization of cannabis. The results of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicate that approximately 66% of U.S. residents believe that the use of marijuana should be legal for both recreational and medical purposes. The strong support for marijuana legalization in the United States bodes well for cannabis operators who are looking to expand to new geographical areas, as well as forward-thinking investors in the cannabis real estate market.

Increasing Support for Legalizing Cannabis in the United States

An increasing number of Americans have voiced support for legalizing cannabis over the last two decades. The recent survey results showing that two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to make cannabis use legal continues a trend: while nearly 66% of Americans opposed cannabis legalization in 2000 and roughly 50% opposed marijuana legalization in 2010, the number opposing legalization has fallen to just 32% today.

The most recent survey was conducted as part of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, which is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults. The survey found that while one-third of U.S. residents still do not believe that cannabis should be legal for recreational purposes, more than 90% of Americans believe that cannabis should at least be legal for medical purposes. Moreover, the strong support for cannabis legalization efforts goes well beyond active users of cannabis: just 48% of American adults indicate ever having tried marijuana.

Impact of Politics on Federal Cannabis Legalization Efforts

As might be expected, there is a partisan divide when it comes to legalizing marijuana in the United States. The Pew survey found that 78% of self-identified Democrats think that cannabis should be legal, while just 55% of self-identified Republicans want cannabis to be made legal across the country. Interestingly, the partisan divide shrinks considerably when factoring in generational differences: 71% of Millennial Republicans support marijuana legalization, as compared to 78% of Millennial Democrats.

The differences and similarities between the country’s two main political parties when it comes to endorsing pot legalization efforts gives some indication of how important the upcoming 2020 presidential election could be for legalization measures in various states. Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 33 states have legalized cannabis for medical use.

Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. Depending on who is elected president in November – Donald Trump or Joe Biden – it is possible that more states could push to legalize cannabis for recreational and/or medical use in the next four years. This would likely have significant consequences for the cannabis industry as a whole. It would also be of particular importance to cannabis retail operators and cannabis investors who would no doubt look to take advantage of opportunities to enter new markets.

Contact Scythian for Information on Cannabis Real Estate Opportunities

Scythian Real Estate is a trusted real estate partner of cannabis operators in several states, including Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Scythian specializes in sale-leaseback opportunities with sophisticated operators and is continuing to build its acquisition pipeline across the country. These acquisitions are currently valued at around $40 million, with 19 assets under management. For additional information about cannabis real estate, email Scythian Real Estate.