A New Opportunity for Coal Investors
Coal Country's Comeback is Real
22,000 mine workers waited patiently to get screwed again.
Not by Obama-era regulatory hurdles or new energy technologies that are rapidly swiping market share from the coal industry, but by the very people who supposedly supported them.
Last week, a group of retired coal miners journeyed to Capitol Hill, where they were forced to essentially beg a bunch of bureaucrats to honor a deal that was made with them decades ago.
You see, back in 1946, a deal was struck between the United Mine Workers of America and the U.S. government that would create a welfare and retirement fund for coal miners. It’s known as the Krug-Lewis Agreement, and it was responsible for ending a long series of strikes that were so effective, President Truman had to intervene.
Of course, this deal was struck at time when things like solar and wind energy were little more than interesting university experiments, and natural gas wasn’t even in the running as a competitive energy resource.
But today, not only is the coal industry being killed off by better technology and cleaner resources, it’s also dealing with far fewer miners and, of course, far fewer contributors to the fund — which, by the way, is maintained in part by federal funds.
So not only are coal miners fighting just to keep their crappy jobs that leave most with all kinds of horrible ailments and injuries, but now they’re fighting to make sure they don’t lose the retirement funds they were promised.
That’s what happens, dear reader, when you rely on the government to take care of your retirement.
Of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find any group of bureaucrats that truly understands what it means to be fiscally or even socially responsible.
Rebuilding Coal Country
While the state of West Virginia continues to deal with the impending death of a once-vibrant coal industry, it’s also dealing with a mass exodus of educated young people, a very serious opioid epidemic, and a $450 million deficit.
Meanwhile, the talking heads keep singing the praises of this great coal comeback that’ll be facilitated by the Trump administration... a comeback, by the way, that is nothing more than an illusion. And if West Virginia has any hope of rebuilding its crumbling economy, it needs to stop treating the kings of coal as if they were still relevant and seek out a new industry that can contribute more than just empty promises.
One rational voice in West Virginia that’s opined on the state’s need to embrace a new industry — that’s actually profitable — is Richard Neely, the former chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
An Economic Urgency
In a recent op-ed, Judge Neely delivered a much-needed case of tough love when he wrote the following about how West Virginia could return to economic greatness by embracing the legal cannabis industry.
Here’s what he had to say:
The issue of legalization of marijuana is not a social issue, and it is not a medical issue: it is an economic issue. And as an economic issue, there is great urgency.
As it stands now, neighboring states have not legalized recreational use of marijuana, although Ohio recently legalized medical marijuana. Therefore, right now — not next year, not after the next election, not “down the road,” but rather right now, we have a great opportunity to begin a new industry that will employ thousands directly and many more indirectly.
In Colorado, the industry generated about $1.1 billion last year in sales, and governments collected $150 million in direct taxes. Indirect taxes, of course, produced more through worker income tax, real estate tax on new industrial facilities, and state fees like workers' compensation premiums.
Therefore, if West Virginia can get the jump on other Eastern states now and exploit a monopoly in the East for three or four years, we can become the experienced and low-cost producer of high quality marijuana.
Judge Neely hit the nail on the head, and his call to legalize may not go unheard.
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Personal Profits, Personal Sovereignty
On April 19, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill to legalize the use of medical cannabis.
While the bill isn’t perfect, it’s a start. And it could be the first crack in a dam that’s holding back full-scale legalization for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
If West Virginia were to go this route — and do so quickly — it could become a very successful low-cost producer of cannabis, just as Neely has suggested. Not only would such a thing help the Mountain State generate an enormous amount of tax revenue without raising current income or sales tax rates, but it would also provide a lot of West Virginia residents the opportunity to enjoy the spoils of personal sovereignty — something for which no U.S. citizen should have to ask permission.
Truth is, as a legal cannabis investor myself, it is the personal sovereignty argument that makes me such a strong supporter of legalization.
I don’t care which side of the aisle you call home. The bottom line is that you should be able to use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes without the fear of arrest. And it is for that reason that I’ll continue to sing the praises of legalization while profiting from the end of cannabis prohibition, which is well on its way. Why else do you think we’ve been making so much money in the legal cannabis space over the past couple years?
Take a look at some of these gains from our legal cannabis stocks...
- Aphria, Inc. (TSX: APH) — 445.13%
- Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) — 459.38%
- OrganiGram Holdings (TSX-V: OGI) — 547.5%
- Emblem Corp. (TSX-V: EMC) — 384%
- THC Biomed (CSE: THC) — 825%
And there’s plenty more to come, too.
In fact, in my latest e-book, “A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Rich in the Legal Cannabis Market,” I list 46 legal cannabis stocks that you can buy right now. You can read about some of these stocks by clicking this link.
To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...
@JeffSiegel on Twitter
Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a private investment community that capitalizes on opportunities in alternative energy, organic food markets, legal cannabis, and socially responsible investing. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.
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