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Following the success of a statewide ballot measure, Ohio will soon join the ranks of 23 other US states that have legalized the sale of cannabis for recreational use. A majority of the US population now lives in jurisdictions that have enabled the purchase of cannabis by adults aged 21 and older. New survey data from Gallup shows that 70% of Americans believe cannabis should be legal, a record high in the pollster’s series of data that goes back more than 50 years. 

Positive sentiment toward cannabis among institutional investors is also on the rise as a potential rescheduling of the drug, downgrading it from Schedule I to Schedule III, could spur further legal reform that the cannabis industry desperately needs. Though it would appear that critical legislation guaranteeing regulated cannabis enterprises access to the banking system has the votes to pass through both chambers of Congress, these legislative bodies are stuck in the limbo of a looming budget crisis that has diverted attention away from less time-sensitive matters.

Related ETFs: AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS), ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ)

On Tuesday, Ohio voted in favor of a ballot measure to legalize the sale of cannabis for nonmedicinal use, as well as the cultivation of the crop. In garnering 57% support among voters, the success of the measure will make Ohio the 24th US state to enable commerce involving recreational cannabis, defying a long-standing federal prohibition on the distribution of the drug. A total of 38 states allow the distribution of cannabis for medicinal use. Ohio’s well-established medicinal market was on track to reach $520 million in sales by the end of this year. With restrictions on recreational sales set to be removed, cannabis data firm BDSA estimates that annual sales in Ohio’s adult-use market could surge to $820 million by 2025. In 2027, that sum could swell to $1.65 billion.

A majority of Americans, representing 53% of the US population, now live in a jurisdiction where anyone at least 21 years old can legally possess cannabis. The growing expanse of state cannabis markets coincides with continual increases in the share of US residents that support deregulation of the drug. An October poll from Gallup – published on Wednesday – shows that a record 70% of 1,009 surveyed adults favor legalization, up from 68% in the prior round of polling. Gallup has conducted this survey since 1969 when the percentage of share of respondents supporting legalization was just 12%. In the most recent results, there was a majority of…

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