U.S. Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Legalize Weed

Cannabis Administration and Opportunities Act (ACT) would remove cannabis from federal list of controlled substances

Three leading U.S. Democratic senators on Wednesday unveiled a bill to legalize cannabis, which would allow adult Americans to buy and possess up to 280 grams of marijuana without facing criminal penalties.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act Act), proposed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker would have the effect of overturning non-violent federal marijuana offenses , promote medical research and enable companies in the cannabis sector to access essential financial services.

While adult consumption is legal in 18 states and authorized for medical purposes in 37 states, it remains illegal under US federal law, which deters banks and others from dealing with companies that sell marijuana. or related products.

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The draft sets the minimum age for purchasing cannabis at 21 and limits state-level retail transactions to 10 ounces of cannabis at a time or the equivalent amount of any cannabis derivative.

The draft also indicates that a new definition of cannabis would be established and proposes to put the oversight of cannabis over to the Food and Drug Administration and regulatory bodies that oversee alcohol and tobacco, and no longer to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

States will control the possession, production or distribution of cannabis, depending on the draft, while the shipping of marijuana to states that have not legalized it will be prohibited. However, these states will not be able to prevent shipments to other legalized regions across their borders.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chief Republican on the Judicial Committee, has declared : “This new bill puts the cart before the horse. He added that the use of marijuana requires more research.

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A final legislative draft will be presented at a later stage and comments on the draft discussion can be provided until September 1.

To become law, the measure will have to pass both the Democratic-controlled Senate and House of Representatives, and be signed by President Joe Biden.

“It's hard to see how this measure can be enacted, but it's nonetheless positive to see progress and momentum,” said Greg Heyman, founder of cannabis investment firm Beehouse Partners.

A major cannabis banking reform bill, approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in April, failed to make headway in the Senate.

"Our main concern with this current legislation (Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act) revolves around the ability to pass it through the Senate," said Michael Boniello, managing director of private equity firm Poseidon, adding that this could prevent d 'other federal cannabis reforms, including the banking law, to be passed in 2021.

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