In December 2019, the industry’s mood was cautiously optimistic. Although cannabis stocks had collapsed and capital dried up, there was reason for optimism: A dozen states had legalization bills on the docket, and the SAFE Banking Act seemed about to pass in Congress.

A few months later, the coronavirus pandemic put almost all legislative efforts on hold, but the industry got an unexpected boost when dispensaries were deemed “essential businesses” by states coast to coast. The move provided important validation and gave cannabis companies across the United States newfound confidence in both recreational and medicinal markets.

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