FEDERAL CANNABIS ISSUES

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INTRODUCED The Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act; introduced 12/2/2021

On December 2, 2021, Reps. Joyce (OH-14), with cosponsor Ocasio Cortez (NY-14), introduced H.R. 6129, which would direct $20 million (over 10 years) to the U.S. Attorney General's office to facilitate nationwide review and expungement of cannabis convictions via State and local appropriation. The WMCG has not yet closely reviewed nor taken a position on this legislation, but is very supportive of local and Statewide expungement efforts.

A copy of the proposed legislation's text is available for review here (PDF).

INTRODUCED The CBD Product and Safety Standardization Act; introduced 12/2/2021

On December 2, 2021, Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04), supported by Reps. Griffith (VA-09), Craig (MN-02), and Crenshaw (TX-02), introduced a bipartisan bill that will establish federal standards for CBD food and beverage products. According to Rep. Rice's office, the bill is intended to protect consumers and provide marketplace stability for farmers, producers, and retailers.

Betsy Booren, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Technical, of the Consumer Brands Association, said about the bill that “74% of consumers incorrectly believe that CBD is federally regulated, stressing the urgency of [this] action." Both the Consumer Brands Association and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable have released statements in support of the bill. The WMCG has not yet closely reviewed nor taken a position on this legislation.

A copy of the proposed legislation's text is available for review here (PDF).

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INTRODUCED The States Reform Act (SRA); introduced 11/15/2021

On November 15, 2021, Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01) introduced the States Reform Act. According to the Cannabis Business Times, the SRA proposes a 3% federal cannabis excise tax and would give state governments the power to regulate cannabis products through health-and-safety oversights of their choosing. But no state would be forced to change its current cannabis policies.

The 3% tax on cannabis products comes with a 10-year moratorium on excise tax increases to ensure “competitive footing” in the market, according to the bill’s text. The tax revenue would fund law enforcement, small businesses and veterans’ mental health initiatives. 

According to Rep. Mace’s office, other highlights from the bill include:

  • No state or local government will be forced to change its current cannabis policies. Federally decriminalizes cannabis from Schedule I and defers to states over prohibition or regulation.
  • Ensures the safe harbor of state medical cannabis programs and patient access while allowing for new medical research and products to be developed.
  • Protects military veterans by ensuring they will not be discriminated against in federal hiring for cannabis use or lose their VA health care benefits.
  • Protects children and young adults under the age of 21 from cannabis products and advertising nationwide. Incentivizes states to make cannabis illegal for anyone under the age of 21, with a medical exception for prescribed use. Provides funding to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to ensure protections for minors are being considered
  • Protects medical cannabis for the following uses: arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, sickle cell, HIV/AIDS, PTSD and other medical uses per a state’s specific cannabis regulations.

Read the released draft of the States Reform Act here. It is introduced in the House as HR5977You can contact your Representative or Senator about the SRA or other issues important to you: Contact your Legislators.

We'll update this page with the latest status of the bill, and in members-only policy updates. If you're not yet a member, be sure to join today!

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PROPOSED FOR DISCUSSION The Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA)

In August 2021, Senators Booker (NJ), Schumer (NY), and Wyden (OR) introduced a draft bill for discussion in the US Senate that will:

  • Remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act - decriminalizing it on a federal level. States could still choose to legalize or not within their borders, but would not prohibit transport across state lines
  • Give federal oversight of cannabis to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies. It is currently overseen by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
  • Allow for federal research and grants, administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
  • Add a federal excise tax that increases to 25% over a few years, in addition to any state or local taxes on cannabis
  • Fund, among other things, small business programs to help cannabis businesses, and create social equity programs called the Cannabis Opportunity Program and Equitable Licensing Grant Program
  • Allow for automatic expungement of arrests and convictions for non-violent federal cannabis offenses.

A detailed summary of the bill's discussion draft is available here (PDF). The WMCG supports many parts of this bill, but has concerns. A 25% tax is too high, even with allowances for small business exemptions. Additionally, there are significant pitfalls that may be associated with interstate commercial transport of cannabis, unless corrected.

If you want to contact your Representative or Senator about the CAOA or other issues important to you, you can do so directly, or through the advocacy activities of the Cannabis Guild. Contact your Legislators.

We'll keep the latest status of the bill right here on this page, and in members-only policy updates. If you're not yet a member, be sure to join today!

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INTRODUCED The MORE Act of 2021; introduced May 2021

The MORE (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement) Act is a pending federal bill that would decriminalize cannabis nationwide. 

The bill, if adopted as introduced, will:

  • Decriminalize cannabis nationwide. It could continue to still be criminalized in States.
  • Automatically expunge cannabis arrests, charges, and convictions, at no cost to the individual, including retroactively.
  • Add a 5% federal tax to the retail sale of marijuana, which would increase to 8% over three years.
  • Prohibit federal discrimination against people because of cannabis use, including earned benefits or immigrants at risk of deportation.
  • Create an office to oversee the social equity provisions in the law.
  • Help with banking and financial issues associated with the current legal status of cannabis. It could also increase opportunities for research, and spur economic growth.

A previous version of the MORE Act was passed by the U.S. House in late 2020, but did not advance in the Senate. It was reintroduced by Rep. Nadler (NY-10) as House Bill (HB 3617) in May 2021, and the House Judiciary Committee passed it in late September 2021. Its next step will be introduction on the House floor, where it is currently cosponsored by 101 other Representatives, including Reps. Kildee, Lawrence, and Tlaib of Michigan. None of the four federal representatives in the Cannabis Guild's focus area (Huizenga, Meijer, Moolenaar, or Upton) have cosponsored.

If you want to contact your Representative or Senator about the MORE Act or other issues important to you, you can do so directly, or through the advocacy activities of the Cannabis Guild. Contact your Legislators.

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INTRODUCED The SAFE Banking Act of 2021; introduced in Senate March 2021 (passed by House 4/19/2021)

The SAFE (Secure And Fair Enforcement) Banking Act is a pending federal bill that would protect financial institutions like banks and credit unions, so they can more easily bank with and lend to the cannabis industry. Passage of the bill would allow for important social equity benefits by increasing opportunities to banking and financial services.

The SAFE Banking Act of 2021 (HR1996) was introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Perlmutter (CO-07) in March 2021. It was cosponsored by 180 other Representatives, including 9 from Michigan. Two cosponsors were from within the West Michigan Cannabis Guild's focus area, Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph). The bill was passed by the House on 4/19/2021, and moved to the Senate. 10 of Michigan's Representatives voted YES, including Meijer and Upton. The other two legislators in the Guild's focus area, Huizenga and Moolenaar, both voted NO.

The bill was reintroduced (S 910) to the Senate by Sens. Merkley and Daines in March 2021 was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It is currently cosponsored by 40 Senators, including Sen. Peters of Michigan. 

If you want to contact your Representative or Senator about the SAFE Banking Act or other issues important to you, you can do so directly, or through the advocacy activities of the Cannabis Guild. Contact your Legislators.

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Quick Links: State * Local * Statistics & Other Important Issues 

Disclaimer 

West Michigan Cannabis Guild 

P.O. Box 3591

Grand Rapids, MI 49501


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