Federal cannabis legalization could become a reality after the upcoming presidential election in November. Washington D.C. marijuana advocates are taking a hard look at what the post-legalization landscape would look like.
Many Washington D.C. trade institutions and nonprofits are predicting a bill to federally legalize cannabis could pass Congress in the near future if Joe Biden wins the presidential election and the democratic party controls the House and the Senate.
Randal Meyer, executive director of the International Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), said “If the Democrats do a clean sweep, then descheduling with interstate commerce is absolutely within the realm of possibility.”
Descheduling would be the best case scenario for federal cannabis legalization and would have the following impact immediately:
- Legalizae cannabis federally
- End 280E taxation restrictions
- Open banking accessibility
- Permit for interstate and worldwide cannabis trade
Steven Hawkins, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Descheduling unlocks everything else, such as banking, relief on 280E, everything, It’s a stone that kills three birds.”
Meyer, a former staffer in the office of Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, said the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement, MORE Act “are the principal vehicle” if the Democrats do take the White House and the Senate, in part because it is already teed up in the House this year.
There are still many outcomes depending on how the upcoming elections pan out.
If, for example, Republicans retain control of the Senate or the White House, then the fallback strategy for several groups is to concentrate on piecemeal bills like the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. That piece of legislation would allow financial institutions to deal with cannabis-related companies without fear of governmental punishment.
But if Democrats are the majority winners this November, following the presumed passage of the MORE Act or legislation near to it, would turn into the regulatory framework that supports federal cannabis legalization.
GACC issued a 66-page draft of a bill which “ends cannabis prohibition and generates an all-encompassing regulatory framework” that would make it possible for states to take the lead and allow the U.S. FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to manage interstate cannabis trade.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) issued a 48-page white paper touting a similar approach, asserting that a “one-size-fits all” regulatory framework could be ineffective.