In a memo to the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Reps. Barbara Lee and Earl Blumenauer wrote that the growing bipartisan momentum for marijuana reform show that Congress is ready for progress next year, noting that they were close to making its marijuana laws and policies align with the views of Americans.
This comes after several proposals were introduced, including federal initiatives that will expunge criminal records of cannabis offenders and establish banking services for the burgeoning marijuana industry.
A poll conducted by Gallup last year found that almost 70% of Americans, including about one-half of Republicans, support the legalization of cannabis. In 2020, the states of Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey and New Mexico legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
The memo is a guideline to various proposals that seek to redefine the role of the federal government in every facet of the marijuana industry. Some of these measures have even received support from the Republican party.
Bills such as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (“MORE”) Act will remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act. Other measures will allow the establishment of a legal marijuana market in Washington D.C., provide for marijuana research trials for PTSD and prohibit retribution by the VA against clinicians who recommend the herb’s use.
Another important measure, the SAFE Banking Act, would afford the marijuana industry access to various financial services including credit-card processing, checking accounts and commercial loans. Under present law, financial institutions that provide banking services to licensed and legal marijuana businesses are under state laws yet subject to criminal prosecution under federal statutes, which include money laundering. This has led the marijuana industry in most states where the herb is legal to carry out their business in cash, which leaves them vulnerable to robberies, among other risks.
Other measures, such as the Medical Marijuana Research Act, would remove restrictions imposed on federal researchers studying cannabis and ensure that they have access to the same products used by consumers for their research.
Most of the pressure for cannabis reform is surprisingly bipartisan. Last week, Reps. Don Young and Dave Joyce wrote a letter to President Joseph Biden and VP Kamala Harris imploring them to change the severity with which marijuana is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act in order to distinguish it from more dangerous drugs such as cocaine, morphine and fentanyl.
In the letter, Joyce stated that the restrictions imposed on cannabis as a Schedule I substance put the U.S. behind many scientific competitors as well as its international partners. If these efforts to reform cannabis policy at the federal level come to fruition, the entire industry, including sector players such as Simply Sonoma Inc., would have fewer regulatory complexities to navigate.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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