Schumer: ‘We Don’t Want the Big Boys’ in the Cannabis Industry

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said lawmakers behind his federal cannabis bill want to ensure smaller businesses have access to the cannabis industry, that states expunge records for nonviolent cannabis crimes, and that funds generated go to restorative justice initiatives.

Full story after the jump.

In an interview with New York’s top cannabis regulator, Tremaine Wright, on Black Enterprise’s “Green Enterprise,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that the lawmakers behind his federal cannabis bill “don’t want the big boys to come in” to the cannabis industry once federal reforms are approved.

“We don’t want the big boys to come in. After all the pain that’s been occurring in communities like the one you represent in Brooklyn where I’m from to have the big boys come in and make all the money makes no sense. So, we want to make sure smaller businesses and businesses of color do it.” – Schumer via Green Enterprise

Schumer also said that he along with New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker (D) and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden are “taking a page” from New York’s legalization law when it comes to social justice reforms included in their federal proposal.

“We’re gonna make it really incentive to have all states expunge their records for nonviolent marijuana crimes,” he said. “So, you never have a criminal record again; you never should’ve to begin with. You know? Low-level marijuana crimes because it was so over-classified it was so bad.”

The Majority Leader added that, under the Democratic legalization plan, cannabis-derived funds wouldn’t “just go into the federal Treasury” rather into “good kinds of activities in terms of restorative justice” such as community violence initiatives and community centers.

In addition to the Democratic proposal backed by Serns. Schumer, Booker, and Wyden, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (SC) on Monday filed legislation to legalize cannabis federally.

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