Government Shutdown Leaves Budding Cannabis Producers in Limbo

January 14, 2019

By Tracey Cheek

The cannabis industry enjoyed a productive 2018, but the government shutdown may be turning the industry's green light to yellow.

Cannabis stocks are up overall, but according to Debra Borchardt, co-founder and CEO of Green Market Report, the government shutdown has left some farmers and companies in limbo.

“When you think about the shutdown obviously there are people in very important jobs like the TSA and the Secret Service, so you would think cannabis is not so important, but we also have a lot of people that are depending on things that are now stalled because of this,” Borchardt told Cheddar Monday.

In December, the federal government legalized recreational hemp with the passage of the 2018 farm bill. But those farmers eager to start growing are now unable to proceed with their plans.

“The farmers that want to capitalize on this are stuck waiting for the Department of Agriculture to approve them for their applications to start growing hemp,” Borchardt said. “For them, they're in this limbo land waiting to get started.”

In that limbo land, Borchardt said, background checks and approval can't be secured or processed.

“Right now all they can do is file an application ー but there’s no one to process it.”

Beyond the shutdown's impact on growers, the shutdown has potentially stymied a number of cannabis companies' plans to go public.

“If you're a cannabis company and you're ready to go public and now all of a sudden you've been stalled, well that's affecting everything you’ve been trying to do. Your expansion plans and maybe even the companies that are waiting for you to expand," Borchardt said.

For full interview click here.