By Eli McVey
If the presidential election were held today, how would the cannabis industry vote?
Hillary Clinton would win in a landslide, with 43% of marijuana executives and professionals saying they would vote for her at this point vs. just 26% who prefer Donald Trump, according to a poll by Marijuana Business Daily.
The online survey, conducted July 27 and 28, found that support for Clinton and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is higher in the marijuana industry than in the U.S. at large. At the same time, support for Trump is much lower.
Though 1 in 10 cannabis executives and professionals remain undecided in their choice for president, it’s unlikely this small group of holdouts can shift the dynamic of the survey in a meaningful way.
The poll results include responses from 724 cannabis professionals across the country.
Marijuana industry investors – a distinct group from cannabis executives and professionals – also favor Clinton, though their support for Trump is significantly higher than it is in the MJ sector in general.
As the Democratic party nominee, Clinton’s status as the front-runner among all segments of the marijuana industry – retail, cultivation, infused products, ancillaries and investors – is not surprising.
Democrats have historically been more sympathetic to marijuana legalization initiatives than their Republican counterparts, and Clinton herself has come out in support of medical marijuana.
She’s also on the record as saying she would move marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug to advance research of the plant, while earlier this month the Democratic party officially adopted a “reasoned path to future legalization.”
Trump, the Republican nominee who’s in a virtual tie with Clinton in the latest national polls, is supported by just 26% of industry executives and professionals.
But Trump’s support from 38% of industry investors is at nearly the same level he receives nationally, and 12 percentage points higher than marijuana industry professionals and executives.
Trump does not have an official policy position on marijuana and it’s often hard to tell where he stands on issues. He said earlier this year that he is “in favor” of medical marijuana “100%,” but has also said several times that he believes recreational marijuana “is bad” and is “causing a lot of problems in Colorado.”
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president and an outspoken advocate for the recreational legalization of marijuana, is backed by 16% of industry executives and professionals, nearly twice the level of support he receives both nationally and from industry investors.
Clearly the most pro-marijuana candidate in the race, Johnson’s status as a third-party candidate hasn’t given him the visibility that both Clinton and Trump enjoy. But voter dissatisfaction with both major parties’ candidates has been a major theme of the election thus far, so Johnson may have an opportunity to appeal to a larger audience as the election draws nearer.
Eli McVey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org