A key congressional leader on cannabis issues is pushing the Biden administration to take action on federal marijuana scheduling “now,” before the upcoming election. And in the meantime, she said she’s “cautiously optimistic” that Congress can pass a more limited banking reform—but the prospects are complicated by Republican control of the House.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, shared her perspective on a number of marijuana developments during a fireside chat hosted by the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA) on Thursday.
Early in the conversation, she seemed to temper expectations about the prospects of enacting reform in the short term, saying “we’ve got to figure out a permanent path, and right now, we’re not sure.”
“I’m not sure if we could, given the composition of this Congress, that we can get anything passed that would make sense,” she said. “We probably should have done it last year when [Democrats] were in control, but we didn’t.”
Nonetheless, she said at the event that legislators must “find a pathway” for reform, and Lee suggested that could come in the form of an executive order from President Joe Biden, who directed an administrative review into marijuana scheduling late last year that agencies are actively working to complete.
On that matter, Lee said Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deserve “kudos for doing this—but it’s got to move faster.”