Limiting illicit cannabis trade as the industry continues expanding

Limiting illicit cannabis trade as the industry continues expanding
© iStock/Talaj

Most regions around the world allow young adults at the age of 18 to enjoy or purchase their own alcohol and tobacco.

However, the US looks to continue limiting illicit cannabis trade as the government has strictly enforced that adults must be 21-years-old or older in order to purchase alcohol. Meanwhile, some parts of the US have also implemented a mandated age of 21 years or older to purchase tobacco.

The US government strongly believed that if the minimum age requirement was raised to 21 it would reduce the number of young adults drinking and smoking. However, Mike Males, a Senior Researcher for San Francisco’s Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, highlighted that changing the age limit has little to no effect in the reduction of underage users – they would likely continue acquiring products through the illicit cannabis trade.

Young people

Teenagers are more likely to obtain their supply from an illegal source and consequently, teenagers are more likely to drink or smoke in excess. Similarly, as the legal cannabis market begins to take off, lawmakers are approaching the industry with caution.

In American states where cannabis is legal for adult-use, only adults 21 years old and over are allowed to purchase any cannabis-based products. On the other hand, Canada allows consumers 18-years-old and older (19 years old in some provinces) to purchase cannabis-based products.

The age difference between the two countries allows Canada to minimise the illicit trade market. Similarly, the United States setting the legal age at 18 years old would add a whole new demographic of young adults to the market, expanding the market penetration even further.

Expunging criminal records

Along with Canada, several other nations have based their cannabis legalisation efforts on a foundation of expunging past criminal records. Notably, Mexico is moving towards legalising cannabis as well, with a primary goal of ending the illicit cannabis trade, or the ‘war on drugs’, and lowering criminal conviction rates.

In particular, Mexico is a region that has been ravaged by the war on drugs, resulting in thousands upon thousands of deaths. Recently, Mexican Senator Julio Menchaca Salazar introduced a piece of legislation that would allow for legal possession, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis for personal use by adults.

Similarly, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, is also pushing for legalisation to end the racial and ethnic disparities in the African American and Latino communities, in terms of cannabis related arrests.

However, despite Cuomo’s active stance, his efforts have so far been unsuccessful in the state of New York. The Governor did manage to decriminalise cannabis recently, making cannabis possession and use a violation, instead of a crime. Furthermore, the state of New York is also creating a process for individuals convicted of marijuana possession to have their records expunged.

New York Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, said: “Marijuana possession gives those convicted a criminal record that will follow them throughout their lives, potentially limiting their access to education, affecting their ability to obtain employment leading to a potential inability to provide for their families.

“The creation of a mechanism for expungement, both retroactively and forward-looking, is a step in the right direction in finally ending the heavy-handed war on drugs.

Global Payout, Inc. announced earlier this week that it has, “entered into a financing arrangement with a long-term private investor for ongoing financial support at a valuation of ten times the current share price. This investment group has already provided over $2,200,000 (~€25.03m)in investment capital to the company over the past two years and has committed to additional financing of more than $3,000,000 at a 10x valuation for a total investment of over $5,000,000.

“The Company anticipates using a large portion of these proceeds to retire a substantial percentage of the Company’s outstanding convertible debt, which will have tremendous value to the stock and its shareholders.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce financing at such a high valuation,” said Global Payout, CEO Vanessa Luna. “As I have said many times, I believe strongly that this company is on a path to becoming the go-to Fintech solution for the cannabis market, but it feels great to have that affirmed by such a strong investment.

“It reaffirms to me, as CEO, that the growth initiatives and overall trajectory of the business are moving in the right direction; and should signal to shareholders that we mean serious business.

“We are aware that there is still a long way to go to get this company in a truly competitive position, which will involve a hard look at all aspects of both the public and privately held Company, MTrac Tech Corp., but this arrangement certainly offers us the ability to continue to make progress on all fronts as we strive to optimise shareholder value for the long term.”

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