- Cannabis research bill: The Senate *unanimously* cleared a bill Thursday that would boost federal marijuana research efforts — and the amount of cannabis that can be grown for those purposes. But, critically, there’s not yet a House companion for the legislation. More for Pros ($).
- Decriminalization: The House is expected to vote next week on a bill ending federal prohibitions on marijuana. What we’re really watching for here — given the bill passed the House once before in December 2020 — is if more Republicans vote in favor of the measure, a sign of growing cross-party support for decriminalization on Capitol Hill.
- Legalization: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has unveiled a sweeping measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use. This is probably the longest shot, though, as some Democratic senators and President Joe Biden himself still oppose full legalization.
- Banking bill: The SAFE banking act, which would allow cannabis dispensaries to do business with banks instead of forcing them to operate via cash, has passed the House six times, but the Senate continues to block its advance in favor of more comprehensive legislation. The China competitiveness bill is the latest vehicle for cannabis banking, and all eyes will be on if the House can strong arm the Senate into retaining the amendment in conference. More for Pros ($).
The banking bill the one to watch, methinks. There are two pot shops in my immediate neighborhood and they’ve been subject to armed robbery pretty much since the day they opened because of all the cash-only transactions.
I’m not saying that the owners are anything other than good citizens, but it would also make it a lot easier to confirm that they are paying their taxes, too. This bill would be a winner for everyone.
Republished with permission from Mock Paper Scissors.