OK… here we go again.
First here’s the story.
The bill is called
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act and comes in at a hefty 163PP
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) July 14, 2021
Now. What do all the commentators think.
As always we suggest starting with Marijuana Moment for some concise reporting and analysis
The NY Times
Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, offered draft legislation to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and begin regulating and taxing it.
MJ Biz say..
Here’s NCIA’s statement
Senate Leadership Releases Draft Legislation to Make Cannabis Federally Legal
Bill would remove cannabis from schedule of controlled substances, establish federal regulatory framework, protect state autonomy, and help repair harms caused by prohibition
Legislation opens doors for cannabis policy reform in the current Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), released draft legislation today that would remove cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances while allowing states to determine their own cannabis policies. The proposed plan would also establish a regulatory framework for state-legal cannabis businesses, expunge non-violent cannabis convictions, and create programs to support small and minority-owned cannabis businesses while reinvesting resources in the communities that have been disproportionately harmed by prohibition.
The Senate sponsors held a press conference on the draft bill today which can be viewed here.
“As Majority Leader Schumer noted today, this is a momentous occasion. This is the first time that the leadership of the upper chamber has championed a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition, and the fact that it is being done in such a thoughtful and proactive manner, engages stakeholders, and includes robust social justice and regulatory language is revolutionary,” said Aaron Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “Given the political environment in the Senate right now, our focus will be to explore ways to potentially improve the bill and gain Republican votes – particularly from those lawmakers representing states where cannabis is legal in some form – while we shore up Democratic support. This draft legislation is a great vehicle to jumpstart these conversations and find common ground across the political spectrum.”
At the press conference announcing the draft legislation, Sen. Booker noted that he would oppose any consideration of incremental measures that would provide safe harbor for financial institutions to offer services and loans to cannabis businesses prior to the passage of a more comprehensive legalization bill.
“We absolutely share Sen. Booker’s desire to enact comprehensive reform as soon as possible, but we also recognize – as do the sponsors of this legislation – that the status quo disproportionately hurts marginalized communities and small businesses, and that getting the bipartisan support necessary for passage in the current term is far from certain,” continued Smith. “Closing the door on broadly supported incremental reforms like the SAFE Banking Act while the Senate seeks compromise on farther-reaching bills hurts the possibilities for consensus and ignores the very real needs of small business operators who have repeatedly said that access to banking services and traditional lending is an existential issue. Big companies already have access to these services, and delaying that same access for small businesses would not further the goal of fostering a more diverse and inclusive industry. These efforts are not mutually exclusive, and history has shown that when it comes to cannabis, every step in the right direction builds momentum for bigger and better reforms at the state and national level.”
A recent study by The Initiative reported that access to capital was the top concern of social equity cannabis operators.
Laws making cannabis legal and regulated for adults have been passed in 19 states as well as the District of Columbia and the territories of CNMI and Guam, and 36 states as well as several territories have comprehensive medical cannabis laws. The substance is legal in some form in 47 states.
NORML want your feedback
July 14, 2021 Friends,
Today, we are saying, “The days of federal prohibition are numbered.” That’s because for the first time in American history, the Senate Majority Leader — alongside longtime cannabis reform champions Cory Booker and Ron Wyden — has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
This long-awaited proposal is comprehensive and includes many of the criminal justice reforms provided in the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed the House of Representatives last December, and provides ample deference to the laws already in place in the majority of states that have already legalized marijuana for either medical or adult use.
Public comment will be solicited through September 1st and as we prepare our response, we need to hear from you!
An End to Cannabis Banking Woes?
Cannabis banking has been a tricky topic to tackle in recent years. Although many financial institutions refuse to do business with the high-risk industry, the truth, according to Ryan Hale, co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Operational Security Solutions (OSS), is that “cannabis banking has been allowed since February 2014.” That was when the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, published their guidance on how credit unions and state-chartered banks could work with the emerging industry.
Also in Marijuana Moment
Cory Booker Vows To Block Marijuana Banking Until Senate Passes Comprehensive Legalization