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Federal MMJ Protections Included in Temporary Spending Bill

State-approved medical cannabis programs are safe from federal interference until at least Jan. 19, as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer was included in a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. The stopgap funding measure, signed by President Donald Trump last week, passed the Senate 66-32 and the House 231-188.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer: “Patients around the country who rely on medical marijuana for treatment – and the businesses that serve them – now have some measure of certainty. Our fight, however, continues to maintain these important protections in the next funding bill passed by Congress.”

Blumenauer was one of 66 signatories on a Nov. 8 letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to include the amendment in the comprehensive final budget bill.

“The provision, which first became law in December 2014, has successfully protected patients, providers, and businesses against federal prosecution, so long as they act within the confines of their state’s medical marijuana laws. These protections extend to 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, all of which allow some form of medical marijuana that is strictly prohibited by the federal government – from CBD oils to the full plant.” – Letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

The Senate Appropriations Committee had approved the amendment as part of the 2018 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations package; however, the House Rules Committee blocked the amendment from receiving consideration from the full chamber. If the amendment is not approved, there will be little to no protection for medical cannabis programs without Congressional action.

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