Bipartisan Quartet Reintroduces Bill To Protect State-legal Cannabis Businesses

April 8, 2019 by Dan McCue
Yasmin Pena trims excess leaves from marijuana plants at Cresco Labs medical marijuana cultivation facility on August 8, 2018, in Joliet, Ill. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

A bipartisan quartet comprised of lawmakers from both the House and Senate have reintroduced a bill intended to protect state-legal cannabis businesses from federal interference.

The bill, also known as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, allows states to determine their own cannabis policies.

It does so by amending the Controlled Substance Act so that businesses and individuals operating in compliance with state cannabis laws would not be considered to be violating federal law, which still prohibits the sale and use of marijuana.

It was reintroduced Thursday by sponsors Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in the Senate, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and David Joyce, R-Ohio, in the House.

“In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry,” Senator Gardner said in one of a series of tweets on the bill. “But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government.

“People of good faith – both in the industry and outside of it – are at risk of being a federal felon despite complying with state law. And the cash on the streets is a big public safety and law enforcement concern,” he said. “That’s why I introduced the bipartisan, bicameral STATES Act with Senator Warren, and Representatives Joyce and Blumenauer.

“This is a mainstream, federalism approach to a conflict that must be resolved,” Gardner added. “The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 47 states have acted and it’s time the federal government respects the will of Colorado voters.”

“Our outdated cannabis laws have ruined lives, devastated communities and wasted resources,” agreed Representative Blumenauer.  “This is the next logical step for Congress to catch up with the rest of America and fix a badly broken system.”

“The current federal policy interferes with the ability of states to implement their own cannabis laws, and the resulting system has stifled important medical research, hurt legitimate businesses and diverted critical law enforcement resources needed elsewhere,” Joyce said.

“It’s past time for Congress to clarify cannabis policy on the federal level and ensure states are free to make their own decisions in the best interest of their constituents. The STATES Act does just that by respecting the will of the states that have legalized cannabis in some form and allowing them to implement their own policies without fear of repercussion from the federal government,” he added.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

Late last month, the House Financial Services Committee approved bipartisan legislation that would allow banks to work with marijuana businesses that are legal under state law.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019, alternately known as the SAFE Banking Act, would shield banks and credit unions from federal regulatory penalties for providing financial services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses and service providers. 

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., and  Denny Heck, D-Wash., had nearly 150 cosponsors and passed by a vote of 45-15, with eleven Republicans voting in favor of the legislation.

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said the STATES Act is being reintroduced at a key moment “when bipartisan support for cannabis policy reform is at historic levels in both chambers of Congress and among the general public.”

“Regulating cannabis is successfully replacing illicit markets with licensed businesses in a growing number of states across the country. This legislation will simply allow those state regulatory programs to succeed without federal interference,” Smith said.

Economy

Congress Considers Proposals to Help Immigrants Start Small Businesses Business
Congress Considers Proposals to Help Immigrants Start Small Businesses
November 11, 2019
by Tom Ramstack

Business leaders in California appealed to Congress Friday to expand financial assistance to immigrants trying to start their own businesses. They said small government investments can create big payoffs when immigrants start successful businesses that pay taxes and employ other persons. The U.S. Small Business Administration... Read More

WTO Says China Can Impose Sanctions On $3.5B Worth Of US Goods Trade
WTO Says China Can Impose Sanctions On $3.5B Worth Of US Goods
November 1, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The World Trade Organization said Friday that China can place new trade sanctions on $3.5 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. restrictions on Chinese furniture, steel products and solar panels. The award by an arbitration panel with the Geneva-based organization is the... Read More

New Report Shows Private Equity's Positive Impact on U.S. Economy Economy
New Report Shows Private Equity's Positive Impact on U.S. Economy
November 1, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Private equity sector is playing a positive role in the U.S. economy, supporting more than 26 million jobs while accounting for about 5% of the nation's gross domestic product, according to a new report. The analysis comes from Ernst & Young, which worked in... Read More

Trump’s Steel Tariffs Were Supposed to Save the Industry. They Made Things Worse Economy
Trump’s Steel Tariffs Were Supposed to Save the Industry. They Made Things Worse

WASHINGTON — When President Trump slapped 25% tariffs on foreign steel in March 2018, panicky U.S. buyers rushed to place new orders ahead of feared supply interruptions, driving prices up sharply. It was an instant bonanza for domestic steel producers. With much fanfare, some announced ambitious... Read More

Federal Deficit Just Shy of $1 Trillion for 2019, Highest Since 2012 Federal Budget
Federal Deficit Just Shy of $1 Trillion for 2019, Highest Since 2012
October 25, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The federal deficit for fiscal year 2019 was $984 billion, $205 billion more than in the prior fiscal year, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday afternoon. The final accounting from the Treasury Department of the Office of Management and Budget confirmed a projection released... Read More

Trump Move Could Spark Another Exodus of US Jobs Researchers In The News
Trump Move Could Spark Another Exodus of US Jobs Researchers

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump has called its work “phony.” His Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney warned that President Barack Obama was “manipulating” its numbers. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow termed one of its reports “very fluky.” Is it a House oversight committee? A Democratic think tank?... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top