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A new bill in preparation of federal legalization.
This week, Ohio Rep. Dave Joyce, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and Florida Rep. Brian Mast introduced the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act, which would “better prepare the federal government for the inevitable end to cannabis prohibition,” the lawmakers said.
There are a handful of cannabis bills in Congress. While it’s unlikely that many of these bills will make it to President Joe Biden’s desk, each new bill changes the cannabis conversation in Congress.
The PREPARE Act aims to create a “fair, honest and publicly transparent process for the federal government to establish effective regulation to be enacted upon the termination of its 85-year prohibition of cannabis,” according to Joyce.
“No matter their opinion on descheduling, most lawmakers agree that the federal government cannot continue to interfere with the rights of the 48 states that have legalized cannabis to some degree. The PREPARE Act will give my colleagues on both sides of the aisle the answers they need to effectively engage on cannabis reform so that Congress can develop a federal regulatory framework that ensures not only a responsible end to prohibition, but also a safe future for our communities,” Joyce said in the announcement.
Down to days for the start of legal cannabis sales in New Jersey.
+ More: Cannabis Wire has been closely covering the ramp up to legal sales, which you can read here.
This week, regulators approved seven medical cannabis companies, who will operate 13 shops, to expand to serve both patients and any consumer who is at least 21 years old.
The companies are: Acreage CCF New Jersey, Curaleaf, Columbia Care, Verano, GTI New Jersey, Ascend New Jersey, and TerrAscend, which are some of the biggest cannabis companies, known as multistate operators (MSOs), in the U.S.
Schumer’s bill now coming by August.
Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker provided an “update” on Thursday regarding their Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which was expected to be formally introduced this month.
This comprehensive federal legalization and regulation bill, which they wrote “is being drafted with the assistance of nearly a dozen Senate Committees and input from numerous federal agencies,” remains a work-in-progress.
“With committees continuing their diligent work and agencies being urged to provide prompt analysis, the Senators stressed their intent to introduce the legislation before the August recess in order to continue building momentum for cannabis reform,” the update read.
The update also included “key” policies that are “currently being resolved in advance of introduction.” They are:
“• Removing unnecessary federal employee pre-employment and random drug testing for cannabis, while preserving appropriate drug testing in transportation-related fields, other sensitive areas of employment, and investigations of accidents and unsafe practices.
• Specifying membership and duties of the Cannabis Products Advisory Committee, an entity created in the legislation which FDA would convene and consult before promulgating regulations.
• Clarifying market competition rules meant to protect independent retailers and prevent anti-competitive behavior, to ensure that those rules do not unintentionally undermine state programs that provide access to capital for social equity businesses.
• Broad review of agricultural and environmental laws applicable to cannabis, and working to ensure that appropriate environmental protections apply to cannabis production.
• Ensuring worker protections for those employed in the cannabis industry.
• Ensuring regulatory bodies and law enforcement have the resources and tools they need to protect the integrity of the legal cannabis marketplace.
• Strengthening cannabis business protections and opportunities under Small Business Administration programs.
• Clarifying the relationship between state governments and Indian tribal governments with respect to cannabis.
• Broad review of existing law to cannabis throughout the government, and developing a variety of additional policies to ensure consistent and appropriate treatment of cannabis.”