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Who Is Standing in the Way of Marijuana Legalization? GOP Support for Cannabis Growing Though Slowly

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently revealed that in a joint effort with his colleagues, he plans to reach out to Republican senators to find out what “they want” to see included in a bill to legalize cannabis federally.

The Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA), in draft form, was first unveiled by Schumer and fellow Sen. Cory Booker and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden last July.

The proposal included plans to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. The measure, if passed, would also expunge prior cannabis convictions and allow people serving time for applicable crimes to petition for resentencing.

In addition, states would retain their rights to set their own marijuana policies and help those who’ve been criminalized over the cannabis plant.

To help the push, the bill’s sponsors sought assistance from senators in February to complete the marijuana legalization bill expected to be filed in April. Democrats circulated a letter asking their colleagues to weigh in on the bill’s provision to finalize the drafting process.

“We hope to do that towards the end of April,” Schumer confirmed in remarks following the House of Representatives passing the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, H.R. 3617, on April 1.

That bill would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, as well, allowing states to legalize weed, its production and sale, free from federal interference. The legislation is headed to the Senate, where it requires bipartisan approval and then President Biden’s signature to be enacted into law.

Talks ‘In Infancy’

While Schumer said he has already consulted with a “few Republicans,” Marijuana Business Daily claims that by “a few,” he meant two.

Out of nine GOP co-sponsors of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act – which ensures financial institutions can serve state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal reprisal – the senator contacted Alaska’s Republican senators – Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, according to the news outlet.

For Murkowski, the “biggest issue is banking and just banking.

Sullivan, Alaska’s junior senator, who supports marijuana normalization measures that allow …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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