Congress thinks about life after cannabis prohibition.
Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) have reintroduced the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-prohibition Adult-use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act.
The bill, which would create a Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis that would focus on figuring out a tenable path to federal cannabis regulation, comes at a time when federal officials are reviewing the federal scheduling of cannabis.
“With nearly every state adopting its own set of cannabis reforms, an end to federal cannabis prohibition is inevitable,” Joyce said in a statement. “Now is the time for the federal government to respect the will of our constituents and begin the conversation on fair and effective cannabis regulation.”
Importantly in this Congress, the bill is bipartisan.
“Americans across the political spectrum recognize that now is the time for cannabis reform, and the federal government should be ready to embrace and lead this change. Since the failed war on drugs began over 50 years ago, the prohibition of marijuana has ruined lives, families and communities – particularly communities of color,” Jeffries said in a statement.
CANNRA, the Cannabis Regulators Association, “urged” Congress to prepare for legalization in a letter late last week, particularly by leaning on state cannabis regulators that have experience. The letter also encouraged support of research and to loop state regulators into the Commission.
“State cannabis regulators have unique experience and insight that can help inform Congress and federal agencies. Preparation to ensure that baseline data are being collected, research is occurring to inform policy, and policy approaches are being studied will lead to an environment that better supports states and prepares federal agencies for future engagement on this topic,” the letter concluded.
The reintroduction of the PREPARE Act drew support from cannabis groups including the National Cannabis Roundtable, the Global Indigenous Council, and the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation.
Delaware: Will Gov. Carney sign adult use bills into law?
As Cannabis Wire reported last month, lawmakers for the first time sent legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use to the governor’s desk.
Now, Gov. John Carney, who previously vetoed legislation to legalize (but not regulate) cannabis, has to decide whether to sign this legislation that reached his desk with bipartisan support.
The deadline for HB 1, which would legalize cannabis for adults, is April 22. And the deadline for HB 2, which would regulate its sales, is April 26.
“We have been on a long, multi-year journey with the Marijuana Control Act. We have had countless hearings, debates, stakeholder engagement and deliberations. We have incorporated numerous suggestions and changes from interested parties – including the governor’s office – throughout this process to arrive at what I believe is the best possible plan for legalizing and regulating adult recreational marijuana,” said Rep. Osienski, who led the bills, in an announcement on Friday.
“I am hopeful that the governor will take all of this into account as he considers these bills and that he will acknowledge the desires of an overwhelming majority of Delaware residents.”
Alabama: Regulators prepare to review 90 medical cannabis applications.
At its meeting late last week, Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Commission voted to approve 90 applications as “properly” submitted. (The window to apply closed on Dec. 30, and the deadline to correct or amend an application closed on March 24.)
The list of applicants includes:
• 12 cultivator
• 11 processor
• 18 dispensary
• 9 secure transporter
• 2 state testing laboratory
• 38 integrated facility
The state can award the following number of licenses:
• 12 cultivator
• 4 processor
• 4 dispensary
• 5 integrated facility
• “Unspecified” for secure transporter and testing laboratory
Licenses will be awarded at the Commission’s June 12 meeting.
“We are excited to be one step closer to program implementation,” said Commission Director John McMillan in the announcement.