The STATES Act amends the Controlled Substances Act so that any business or person operating in compliance with state cannabis law will not be in violation of federal law. The STATES Act is a bipartisan bill with real world impact. It would immediately improve public safety and the local economies within the states the cannabis industry operates, and protect the freedom and livelihood of the hundreds of thousands of Americans working in the legal cannabis industry today. Medical cannabis is legal in 33 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while adult use of cannabis is legal in 10 of those states, along with D.C. and Guam. The STATES Act reflects the will of American voters, tens of millions of whom have enacted medical and adult-use cannabis laws nationwide. In response to a Quinnipiac survey last year that asked respondents whether they would “support or oppose a bill protecting states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana from federal prosecution,” nearly three-quarters (74%) said that they would support such legislation.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The SAFE Banking Act aims to address the lack of access to banking experienced by lawful cannabis businesses operating in states with existing cannabis regulatory structures. The bill would prevent banking regulators from penalizing banks and their employees for providing financial services to state-legal cannabis businesses, reducing the uncertainty and risk that deters many banks from working with cannabis businesses. The SAFE Banking Act is a critical next step in achieving the transparency and regulatory compliance required for the long-term health and safety of the cannabis industry. The U.S. House of Representatives made history by passing this bill on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. However, before the SAFE Banking Act becomes law, it still needs to pass in the Senate and receive the President’s signature. Please urge your Senators to support the SAFE Banking Act.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of failed drug policy that has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and communities of color. The bill was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.1456) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the U.S. Senate (S.597). Beyond removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances, thus making it legal at the federal level, the bill would also automatically expunge the convictions of those who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses. It would also reinvest in the communities most impacted by the failed war on drugs through a community fund. This community reinvestment fund could be used for projects such as job training programs, re-entry services, and community centers.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The Small Business Tax Equity Act seeks to exempt businesses that engage in cannabis sales in accordance with state law from Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code. This bill was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.1118) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the U.S. Senate (S.422). This simple yet impactful bill would allow compliant, tax-paying cannabis businesses to deduct normal business expenses and access tax credits that are available to other lawful businesses. The changes would apply to all tax years ending after the bill’s enactment.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades (RESPECT) Resolution (H.Res.163), establishes that the communities most harmed by cannabis prohibition are least likely to benefit from opportunities in the legal cannabis market. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Resolution to encourage proactive steps to address these inequalities and eliminate barriers to equal market participation. The RESPECT Resolution offers best practices and recommended steps for states and localities to reduce financial barriers to entry, eliminate constrained licensing frameworks that perpetuate disadvantage, encourage automated expungement and resentencing for prior cannabis offenses, create funding for reinvestment in impacted communities and for market entry by people of color, and ensure diversity in cannabis regulatory bodies and the ancillary sectors.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is a comprehensive de-scheduling bill that would leave cannabis regulation primarily up to states, territories, and tribes. The bill, introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the U.S. Senate (S.1552) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.2843), removes cannabis from the federal schedule of controlled substances, effectively decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level. The bill also limits federal law enforcement’s authority to prevent interstate trafficking between legal cannabis states and other states that choose not to legalize. Federal agencies would be responsible for a number of important objectives, including establishing a fund to support qualifying women and minority-owned cannabis businesses, engaging in highway safety research related to driving under the influence of THC, investigating the health effects of THC and the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for certain ailments, regulating cannabis advertising in a manner similar to tobacco advertising, and administering a grant program for states and localities for record sealing and expungement programs.CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS
The House Judiciary Committee passed the MORE Act on Wednesday, November 20. However, before the MORE Act becomes law, it still needs to pass in the full U.S. House and Senate and receive the President’s signature.
The MORE Act would, among other purposes, remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, provide for expungement of federal marijuana offenses, and establish a 5% excise tax on marijuana to fund various grant programs.