PredictIt Opens Marijuana Betting Market, Sets Outcome for April 20

Posted on: July 14, 2021, 02:58h. 

Last updated on: July 14, 2021, 03:50h.

PredictIt is getting in on the forthcoming congressional debate on cannabis. 

marijuana PredictIt cannabis federal law
Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer speaks in support of recreational and medicinal marijuana use in New York City on May 1. The Senate’s most powerful person is now calling on Congress to decriminalize the drug on the federal level. (Image: Getty)

The betting exchange, which operates legally in the US through a “no-action” relief issued from the US Commodity of Futures Trading Commission, has opened up a market on how Congress categorizes cannabis in the future.    

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), the Senate’s top Democrat, today unveiled a proposal to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level. The bill would declassify marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic, the same classification as heroin and LSD.

I will use my clout as majority leader to make this a priority in the Senate,” said Schumer, the first Senate leader in US history to support such an effort. “It’s not just an idea whose time has come, but is long overdue.”

The legislation, cosponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), would treat marijuana in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco. Cannabis would be permitted to be regulated and taxed, with the minimum age to purchase and consume it being 21. 

Shares High

The use of medical cannabis is legal in 36 states, plus the District of Columbia. Eighteen of those states, plus DC, also allow recreational use. 

Though cannabis remains prohibited on the federal level, Congress passed legislation in 2014 ordering that the Department of Justice not interfere with states that have decided to legalize its use. 

Proposals to legalize marijuana at the federal level are nothing new. But with the latest effort being pushed by Congress’ top Senator, some believe its odds of passing are better than ever. PredictIt launched its marijuana market this morning, as Schumer and his cosponsors unveiled their intentions to decriminalize the drug. 

“Will marijuana be rescheduled under the Controlled Substances Act by April 20?” saw “Yes” shares surge today to as high as 43 cents. Since trading is only in its first day, share prices are volatile. 

Nearly 3,000 shares were exchanged during the market’s first six hours. 

PredictIt is being a little “cute” in setting the market’s deadline for April 20, better known to marijuana users as 4/20. The origins of April 20 and 4:20 on the clock as it relates to cannabis culture remains disputed.

The most reputable claim, however, is that 4/20 was a code used by a group of California high school teenagers who called themselves “the Waldos.” The gang would regularly meet at 4:20 near the statue of Louis Pasteur in San Rafael, Ca.

Weed and Casinos Don’t Mix

Nevada is one of those states that allows both medicinal and recreational marijuana use. But don’t think about walking into a Las Vegas casino and lighting up a joint. 

Because marijuana remains an illegal Schedule 1 narcotic, state gaming regulators require that their licensed commercial casinos have no connection to the marijuana industry. In Nevada, the state Gaming Control Board maintains that “unless the federal law is changed,” any person or company licensed by the state to conduct gaming must not have any involvement with cannabis. 

Consuming cannabis in Nevada is regulated to private residences, which doesn’t include hotel rooms. In June. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed a bill to license and regulate cannabis consumption lounges, which will give visitors a place to consume marijuana lawfully.