It’s Official: Canopy Growth’s Coming to America After All

The marijuana heavyweight has announced a revolutionary new agreement to create a hub of hemp innovation in New York.

Canada’s market share-leading cannabis company, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), has long said it won’t enter the U.S. market until there’s a legal pathway to do so federally. The passage of the new U.S. Farm Bill in December gives it what it was waiting for. On Jan. 14, the company struck a deal with the state of New York to process hemp, a strain of cannabis that’s low in the psychoactive chemical cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), to create hemp-based consumer-goods products.

What’s happening

The negative attitudes toward marijuana have been easing over the past decade, and that’s led to approval of legal marijuana in 33 states, including 10 states that have passed laws creating adult-use, recreational marijuana markets.

The growing acceptance of marijuana has been fueled in part by stories and experiences stemming from the potential medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp and other engineered cannabis strains.

In fact, all but four states have laws on the books that allow patients to possess CBD, either through CBD-specific legislation or broader medical marijuana laws.

Nevertheless, marijuana remains illegal federally in the U.S., and that’s not only hamstrung companies interested in creating cannabis-based consumer-goods products, but it’s also prevented companies operating within specific states from conducting business across state lines.

The potential for a federal crackdown on marijuana isn’t the only reason large cannabis companies, including Canopy Growth, have steered away from doing business in America. Marijuana is now legal nationwide in Canada, but Canadian companies listed on Canadian stock exchanges are prohibited from conducting business in countries where that business is illegal at the federal level. Rather than risk delisting, Canopy Growth and its peers decided to play it safe and focus their attention on Canada and other global markets, such as Germany.

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