Breaking news is coming out of Washington, DC today (July 21, 2022) and we’re here with some of the details.
A group of senators that includes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senators Booker and Wyden, formally introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). The goal of this bill is to end federal marijuana prohibition. It was around a year ago that ideas for this bill were first discussed. Now, it’s awaiting action in the Senate.
What Would CAOA Do?
The major point of the CAOA bill is that it would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act entirely. This would stop the federal prohibition of marijuana. As a result, it would leave it up to states to decide their own marijuana laws. It also aims to fix issues that are currently existing in legal cannabis markets because of lack of banking / merchant services, and more. The legislation will work to help communities that were unfairly and unevenly targeted because of marijuana prohibition. CAOA also includes the expungements of past criminal records, and would strive to improve diversity and inclusion in regulated cannabis markets.
Will The CAOA Bill Pass Into Law?
Honestly, we’re not sure. The filibuster that exists right now makes it hard to see a clear path forward. Plus, there’s quite a lot of other legislation that is pressing at this time- the CAOA bill is important, but it isn’t the only thing on the docket.
Regardless of whether or not CAOA passes into law, an anonymous Washington, DC insider gave us this scoop-
“There are talks of including portions of the bill like safe banking provisions into other must-pass bills later this year if it [does not pass]. I’d say the two provisions most likely to be added as riders on either the farm bill or omnibus budget would be related to the SAFE Banking Act and clearing federal hurdles to support small business and business owners who operate in the cannabis industry, because those sections have bipartisan support.”
That means, essentially, that even if the whole bill does not pass into law, conversations are happening now about how to include some of the critical elements of it into other bills that WILL pass. So, at the very least, CAOA is spurring the conversation forward at a much faster pace. Hopefully, this will lead to some big changes in the marijuana / cannabis space. We’re certainly looking forward to it.
Want to learn more about the 2018 Farm Bill? Check out our blog about it here.