Bipartisan support in Congress dealing with the conflicts between state cannabis laws and federal prohibition in the Controlled Substances Act is getting stronger. On July 10, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security held a hearing called “Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform.” Lawmakers and witnesses from both sides of the aisle discussed how to change federal law to harmonize with state medical cannabis and adult-use programs.
The proposals range from the STATES Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D, OR) with 25 bipartisan cosponsors, and the MORE Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler with 32 bipartisan cosponsors. The STATES Act would respect state laws on cannabis and protect participants from prosecution under the federal Controlled Substances Act so long as the participants so long as they are acting in compliance of state law. The MORE Actgoes further, legalizing cannabis nationally and addressing the disproportionate impact cannabis prohibition has had on communities of color in the U.S. by reinvesting in those communities and expunging some criminal records.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held hearings last month on financial services for cannabis businesses, and the Agriculture Committee held a hearing on how the federal government is implementing hemp and hemp extract legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill.