What ending the federal marijuana prohibition could mean for the industryPosted by On


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(NEW YORK) — Purveyors of legal marijuana are cautiously applauding a Democrat-backed Senate bill to end the federal prohibition of pot, saying their businesses have been stymied by banking regulations that force them to deal in cash and make them a target for thieves.

For the first time in history, some Senate Democrats introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances — laws that led to more than 1.5 million arrests in 2019 alone, 32% of which were for nonviolent lower-level marijuana possession offenses, according to the nonprofit Drugpolicyfacts.org.

Federal laws have also created a legal gray area for businesses operating in states where marijuana is legal.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called the legislation “monumental.”

But some cannabis industry insiders told ABC News that while the draft legislation includes many things that would greatly benefit dispensaries and growers — like allowing them to get bank financing, accept credit cards and go public on the New York Stock Exchange — they would rather see the federal government leave the issue in the hands of states.

“I hope I’m dead wrong, but the cynic in me says why would a Democratically-controlled Congress want to put a legalization bill in front of a president from their party who has already said he doesn’t…

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Nastasic/iStock

(NEW YORK) — Purveyors of legal marijuana are cautiously applauding a Democrat-backed Senate bill to end the federal prohibition of pot, saying their businesses have been stymied by banking regulations that force them to deal in cash and make them a target for thieves.

For the first time in history, some Senate Democrats introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances — laws that led to more than 1.5 million arrests in 2019 alone, 32% of which were for nonviolent lower-level marijuana possession offenses, according to the nonprofit Drugpolicyfacts.org.

Federal laws have also created a legal gray area for businesses operating in states where marijuana is legal.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called the legislation “monumental.”

But some cannabis industry insiders told ABC News that while the draft legislation includes many things that would greatly benefit dispensaries and growers — like allowing them to get bank financing, accept credit cards and go public on the New York Stock Exchange — they would rather see the federal government leave the issue in the hands of states.

“I hope I’m dead wrong, but the cynic in me says why would a Democratically-controlled Congress want to put a legalization bill in front of a president from their party who has already said he doesn’t…



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