Cannabis Industry Panel at MJBizCon Highlights Challenges and Optimism for the Future

The MJBizCon panel, titled “Cannabis Industry Outlook: Trends, Obstacles and Strategies to Survive,” featured industry leaders discussing the potential rescheduling of marijuana by the Biden administration. Panelists expressed optimism for the industry’s future, hoping for relief from steep taxes imposed by Section 280E of the federal tax code. Virgil Grant, CEO of the California Cannabis retail chain, shared his ongoing challenges, including a recent bank account closure, emphasizing the need for regulatory changes.

Grant, despite serving six years in federal prison for operating a state-legal medical marijuana business, remains committed to the industry. He advocates for the SAFER Banking Act to improve access to capital and services, and he calls for the end of Section 280E. The discussion also touched on the risks and rewards of the cannabis industry, with Trulieve Cannabis CEO Kim Rivers detailing the company’s $40 million investment in advocacy and a $143 million tax redemption effort.

The session highlighted the resilience required to navigate the current challenges in the cannabis sector. The article concludes with predictions for the industry, including the reclassification of marijuana, the expansion of recreational legalization in more states, increased investor interest, and the diminishing impact of cannabis in the 2024 presidential election.


“Rather than giving up, Grant is doubling down, advocating for passage of the SAFER Banking Act”

Virgil Grant


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