Saturday, July 16, 2022
Notable (and consequential?) news from Capitol Hill on federal marijuana reforms
The back end of this week brought some news from Congress regarding federal marijuana reform efforts. Marijuana Moment has the essential news and helpful context in two lengthy pieces, which are linked below and briefly excerpted:
"House Approves More Marijuana Amendments To Defense Bill, Including Banking And Veterans Medical Access"
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved several marijuana reform amendments as part of a large-scale defense bill, including proposals to protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses and allow U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to issue medical marijuana recommendations....
What remains to be seen is which, if any, of these amendments makes it through conference after the Senate advances its version of NDAA. The chamber has generally been viewed as a barrier to enacting drug policy reform, especially with Republican minority leadership frequently challenging amendment germaneness.
"Senate Marijuana Legalization Bill ‘Could Come’ Next Week, But Congressional Sources Push Back On Report About Timeline"
The introduction of a long-awaited Senate bill to federally legalize marijuana is imminent, with two Senate sources telling Marijuana Moment on Thursday that the legislation could be filed “as early as next week.”
It’s been a year since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) first released a draft version of comprehensive legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition and promote social equity in the industry. And on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the bill’s introduction would be coming next week....
The timeline for the introduction of CAOA has been repeatedly pushed back as leadership has worked to gather input on various provisions and build bipartisan buy-in.... Details about any changes to the bill since it was released last year are still being heavily guarded. But it’s expected to contain the key components: removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, imposing a federal tax on marijuana sales, promoting equity in the industry and providing an avenue for relief for those who have faced federal cannabis convictions.
Once the measure is introduced, its path to passage is still murky. There’s a fair level of skepticism about the prospects of reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to pass CAOA through the Senate.