Republican co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus on Wednesday introduced a bill to remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, issue rules for sales one year after enactment, allow financial institutions to serve cannabis companies in non-legal states, and direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend cannabis.
The Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act, sponsored by Reps. Dave Joyce (OH) and Don Young (AK), would also require the National Institutes of Health to conduct studies on cannabis impairment and how cannabis can be used for pain management. Those studies, along with a report to Congress, would be required within two years of enactment.
In a statement, Steven W. Hawkins, interim president & CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council, said it is “incredibly encouraging to see Republican leadership to end the federal prohibition and criminalization of cannabis.”
Young said that the feds’ “outdated cannabis policies have stood in the way of both individual liberty and a state’s 10th Amendment rights.”
Joyce described federal prohibition as “neither tenable nor the will of the American electorate.”
“My legislation answers the American people’s call for change and addresses our States’ need for clarity by creating an effective federal regulatory framework for cannabis that will help veterans, support small businesses and their workers, allow for critical research and tackle the opioid crisis, all while respecting the rights of States to make their own decisions regarding cannabis policies that are best for their constituents.” – Joyce in a press release
The legislation is also backed by the National Medicinal Cannabis Coalition and the National Cannabis Roundtable.
The measure was referred to the committees on Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, and Financial Services.
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