Why Isn’t the Rest of the World Legalizing Cannabis?
Fear of the USA’s “trade and aid” is keeping cannabis from blooming around the world
With Canada being the first G7 country to legalize cannabis and with over 33 states or territories having some form of legalized medical or recreational cannabis program, why hasn’t the rest of the world followed Canada’s lead and legalized cannabis? Doesn’t everyone want to be a worldwide leader in growing and exporting cannabis? Don’t the early movers in this niche have a huge advantage over the US if they can get their government laws and paperwork in order years before the US is ready to legally export cannabis?
Yes, yes, and yes, so what gives?
The US Trade and Aid Monster is Real
The short answer is that if you received aid from the US or have a decent trade industry with the US, you are terrified of the US repercussions of legalizing cannabis. Is this one reason why Israel was going great guns for cannabis exports and then after a meeting with Trump the whole process seemed to get stuck in the mud and put on the backburner? As they say, never bite the hand that feeds you, or in this case, that aids and trades with you.
Want to see proof?
Look at the countries that have legalized cannabis and are starting to or trying to export it. Jamaica, little or no trade with the US and does not receive much US aid in any type of humanitarian or economic relief. South Africa falls under the same category, a much bigger country than Jamaica but it does not have to deal with the US on many fronts. Namibia and Lesotho, two African nations moving quickly to legalize, grow, and begin exporting cannabis. Strange and random list of countries don’t you think?
Notice countries that deal with the UN and the US are noticeably absent. The UN drug treaties do now allow those countries to facilitate the sale and growing of cannabis since it is a schedule 1 drug in the USA. France has huge public pension deficient like New Jersey and Illinois, yet no cannabis legalization and certainly no exporting yet? Spain has over 2,000 cannabis social clubs between Madrid and Barcelona, yet no exporting of cannabis. The Germany health minister says they supply of cannabis is woefully inadequate as there is much more demand than supply, and he needs more import and export partners. In fact, Germany just this week got it’s first “test samples” of cananbis oil from Austrialia as it looks to expand it’s list of suppliers.
So, what gives? What can the US do to you if they decided they didn’t like you growing and selling cannabis?
The US is still the most powerful nation on earth as far as financial clout as well as military clout, and generally, people don’t want to be on the wrong side of the US government when there are hundreds of millions of dollars of trade and aid at stake. The cannabis pie is just not tempting enough for countries to risk some of the following:
*The US still is the apple of everyone’s eye as the US consumer is the wealthiest on the planet, and spends the most of any of his or her peers. Nations want to import things to the US for people to buy. If you get cut off from that golden goose, millions of dollars and thousands of jobs can be lost. (see “trade war with China” for real life stuff going on).
*The US still spends the most on aid to countries around the world for a wide variety of things from humanitarian aid to financial aid for governments. Those countries depend on that aid money for a variety of things and having the US cut off aid or void trade agreements because you have started to grow, and export cannabis is just too risky to do right now.
*The US dollar system and SWIFT transfer system – The death blow for a country is getting cut off from US dollar accounts and the SWIFT money transfer system. The US dollar, for better or worse, is still the world’s reserve currency, and when push comes to shove, the world buys dollars and dollar denominated bonds because they are backed by the full security and stability of the US government. If the US government deems you a rogue country or having violated UN drug treaties, it could threaten to deny you access to the US banking system and block access to the SWIFT system. Welcome to Iran, not a place that France, Australia, or Japan want to be right now. Althought Austrailia has just begun sending test samples to Germany, who is in dire need of more cannabis suppliers.
There is hope. Most international executives feel that as the US goes, so does the UN, and so does the rest of the world. So, when the US does legalized cannabis at the Federal level in some form or another, the UN will then have to adjust their drug treaties to exclude cannabis. When that happens, all countries of the world will have the green light to grow and cultivate cannabis plants on a large scale. Countries with lower labor costs will begin exporting the plant and world trade will commence for cannabis. You will then see futures contracts traded on the financial markets for cannabis just like we have for sugar, pork bellies, and crude oil. There will most likely be 3 or 4 main contracts traded like medicinal grade, recreational grade, and schwag grade. This will allow big producers to hedge their crops and shipments for currency fluctuations and weather patterns, very similar to how commodities contracts are used now around the world for things such wheat, soybeans, and corn.
Until then, don’t expect countries that do major trade or receive major aid from the US to cross Uncle Sam and get caught smoking a joint.