WS: To date, nearly 40 states have legalized medical and/or adult marijuana. Do you think it`s more likely that all 50 states will legalize marijuana before the federal government? I guess that sounds conceptually impossible (how can all 50 states authorize something the federal government prohibits?), but given the widespread legalization of marijuana in every region of the country, I don`t think I can name an out-of-the-question state. Last updated: February 16, 2022In early February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed provisions of the SAFE Banking Act as part of the America COMPETES Act, marking the sixth time cannabis banking legislation has been approved by the House. Given that the Senate has already passed its own version of the COMPETES law without banking language on cannabis, there will be negotiations to decide the fate of banking regulation in large-scale legislation. Please instruct your federal legislators to maintain banking security in the COMPETES Act. Lack of access to banking services is a serious barrier for state-legal cannabis businesses across the country. It keeps prices high for patients and consumers, hinders social justice efforts, and creates risks for workers and communities through the cash-only method. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have now legalized cannabis for adults, and other states will continue to enforce similar laws. How long will federal legislators ignore this problem? The federal government`s failure to pass meaningful banking reform hurts the entire cannabis industry, but it disproportionately hurts small entrepreneurs, many of whom are social justice and minority-owned enterprises. The passage of cannabis bank reform is an important step towards dismantling the federal prohibition of cannabis.
SAFE Banking sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said he was “confident” his cannabis banking legislation would finally pass the Senate and the president`s desk before he leaves office later this year. Meanwhile, the MORE Act, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAO), and the State Reform Act would end the failed era of federal cannabis prohibition, and the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuit Exungement Act (HOPE) would fund state erasure programs for previous cannabis convictions. Stay tuned for further developments in federal cannabis policy! In the long run, public support for marijuana legalization has risen sharply, according to a separate Gallup poll question asking whether marijuana use should be legalized — without specifying whether it would be legalized for recreational or medical use. This year, 68% of adults say marijuana should be legal, matching Gallup`s record legalization support in 2021. HR: Slardes is right. While Republicans may not be as warm as Democrats about cannabis, legalization enjoys broad bipartisan support among voters. If Republicans take control of the White House and/or Congress in 2024, I think there will be a negative regression. But I don`t think the momentum trend line is changing direction. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agrees that the organization may need to be reconsidered. She hired an external consultant to kick off the review process, which she says will take a month. “Anyone caught here with a usable amount of marijuana will be charged accordingly,” El Paso Police Sgt.
Enrique Carrillo told Nexstar partner KTSM. SV: My God, the simple answer here is that federal legalization will look something like the result of the MORE Act and CAOA if they have a child together. I would like to add that I suspect that a federal cannabis regulatory system would resemble the most successful programs in the U.S. in some key respects. In addition to the general Republican fierce opposition to weed, this is another major factor plaguing the prospect of legal weed. A Pew study found that only 32 percent of Americans ages 75 and older support legalizing recreational and medical weed — far fewer than any other age group. That could be a problem in the upper house of Congress, which has 11 senators over the age of 75. One of the most effective arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana is the economic opportunity it would create for New York State and its residents.
Previous studies have shown that 63.4% of adults surveyed agree that creating the industry and corresponding jobs would be a justification for legalization. The legalization of marijuana offers an interesting case study and a natural experiment in the field of economic development. It is rare that new industries and supply chains have to be created in such a short time. Read more > Hunter Robinson (HR): We all know Slates and I wear rose-colored glasses in this crew. I generally agree with his analysis and conclusion that some form of federal legalization could take place by 2025. To give a little more color, here are my thoughts on the likelihood of some form of significant federal legalization occurring on certain dates: State politicians considering marijuana legalization and implementation should answer these questions first. HR: I think the dam will break slowly. “SAFE Plus” (i.e., SAFE`s banking provisions combined with elements of social justice at the first stage, such as the withdrawal of marijuana-related convictions at the federal level) would come first. This would likely accelerate the growth of the state-legal cannabis industry, and once more people see that the sky isn`t falling as the industry grows, it will expand the coalition that supports broader cannabis reform.
I think the broader reform would start with a change that would essentially leave states to regulate the production and sale of cannabis within their borders. This is essentially the status quo, but it would have a huge impact on cannabis operators` tax liability, as 280e would no longer prevent them from deducting certain business expenses. And the ability to transport cannabis in interstate commerce could lead to a fundamental shift in cannabis cultivation, with downstream effects on the market structure of the cannabis industry. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment prevents the federal government from allocating funds to disrupt the implementation of medical marijuana legalization in states — but it must be renewed annually. Just this week, South Carolina state lawmakers heard new testimony about medical marijuana, and the New Hampshire House passed a pot bill. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has made cannabis legislation such a priority that she has summoned the legislature to a special session to legalize recreational use. The sale started a few days ago. The governor says that even though she has never used marijuana, she could eventually buy something.
However, legal cannabis also presents a huge financial opportunity, and despite the federal government`s inaction, the industry is growing rapidly. A report from cannabis website Leafly shows that there are more than 428,000 full-time jobs in the cannabis industry, with a 33% increase in jobs in the last year alone. Yet the consequences of the lack of federal legalization are being felt in many areas of society: medical research has stalled, prisoners are languishing in prisons, small businesses are going bankrupt, without access to federal banks, and large cannabis companies are facing major challenges in raising money to stay afloat as long as marijuana is illegal under federal law. Ideological differences are evident within each party. About four in ten conservative Republicans (37%) say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, compared to a 60% majority of moderate and liberal Republicans. HR: I think the federal government can beat a few states, but not many. I expect it will become increasingly difficult for states to persevere when they see schools, roads, etc. in legal states due to tax revenues from cannabis.