Australian Marijuana Legalization
It’s no secret that the legal marijuana industry currently operating is only scratching the surface of the true potential of pot. While laws are being passed day by day that makes cannabis more permissible, ultimately we still have holdouts in the largest markets on Earth, including the U.S. and much of Europe.
That is changing, however, as marijuana legalization continues to gain traction worldwide. The latest victory comes in the form of Australian marijuana legalization.
Canberra, Australia’s capital city, with a population of about 390,000, will now permit locals to grow, possess, and use marijuana starting on January 31. While marijuana has been decriminalized across Australia for years, Canberra represents the first instance in the country of recreational marijuana actually being legalized.
The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly voted on September 25 to legalize possession by adults of up to 50 grams (1.8 ounces) of dried cannabis and cultivation of two cannabis plants. (Source: “Australian capital legalizes recreational marijuana,” The Associated Press, September 25, 2019.)
To be fair, this is a small step when considered in the global context. Even if the entire country of Australia were to legalize marijuana, that would still be a relatively small step. After all, this is a country that’s smaller than Canada, both in terms of population and gross domestic product (GDP).
Sure, legalization in Australia would still be a huge boon for marijuana companies and help their share prices surge, but the country only offers a small glimpse of the potential that a worldwide legal marijuana industry would yield.
So we’ve established that this isn’t exactly news that’s worthy of lighting fireworks. Or at least, not on the surface. If you dig deeper, however, this is actually fantastic news for a number of reasons.
First, the short-term micro impact. Almost every time we’ve seen pot legalization of some form get passed, the medical marijuana sector has had first-mover advantage. And that paves the way for the eventual legalization of recreational pot.
In this case, Australia now has a first-mover situation in the recreational pot space. The country was already warming up to pot with its decriminalization stance, and the recent news about Canberra is a huge leap in the right direction.
If successful, Canberra can be the first of many Australian cities to…