Legalized marijuana has been unstoppable in 2016.
You might have missed it thanks to the presidential upset, but following the Nov. 8 elections, fully 28 states now have legalized medical marijuana. Eight of those states have approved it for recreational and medical use.
That's great news for enthusiasts, but for investors, it's nothing short of amazing.
You see, marijuana advocates aren't finished with their fight. In fact, they're stepping up the pressure.
They're now eyeing the opportunities that could arise in 2017 – and beyond.
That's why today, as 2016 comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to look at voters in the remaining states – and predict which ones will attempt to legalize marijuana next.
While petition groups are working on marijuana initiatives for 2017 in almost all those remaining states, four currently "lead the pack" in the race to nationwide legalization…
The Pot Stock Stakes: "Win," "Place," and "Show"
For the first-place "win" bet, Vermont is out in front.
With voters in Massachusetts and Maine choosing in favor of legalization, it's only a matter of time before other states in New England start adopting pro-pot laws.
And the Green Mountain State is ripe for the picking.
It already has an existing medical marijuana program, and in spring 2016, the state nearly legalized recreational marijuana.
Despite strong backing from the Vermont Senate, Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Attorney General William Sorrell, Senate Bill 241 ultimately died in the Vermont General Assembly in late April, amid a rising fear of marijuana somehow contributing to the state's severe opioid crisis.
Now, according to recent polls from Vermont Public Radio (VPR), 55% of Vermonters are in favor of marijuana legalization, with only 32% opposed.
Standing in the way, however, is Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.
With Shumlin, the state's biggest marijuana cheerleader, on his way out of office, his successor has a different take on legalization. During the discussion of the legalization bill, Scott raised concerns about the legislation's shortcomings.
Either way, after coming so close in 2016, the sponsors of S.B. 241 may be ready to reintroduce the measure (or a revised version) when Vermont's next legislative session opens on Jan. 4.
This time, the pro-legalization effort could go all the way.
These states are looking promising, too.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.