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Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

Schumer’s legal weed bill is finally here – Cannabis Business Executive

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Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

How Would The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act Work?

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A few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA).

The nearly 300 page bill is comprehensive and is unlikely to pass before the midterm election (if at all, thanks to the filibuster). However, it does provide a real glimpse as to what we can potentially expect when federal cannabis legalization actually happens. Today, I will cover a few interesting portions of the CAOA.

Cannabis Legalization

The CAOA would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Individuals over 21 could legally use marijuana in states that have legalized. States could continue to prohibit marijuana within their borders but could not prohibit the interstate shipment of marijuana. The unauthorized growing, manufacturing, shipping, transporting, receiving, possessing, selling, distributing, or purchasing of ten pounds or more of marijuana would remain illegal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Holds News Conference Introducing The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C), joined by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (L) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) / Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The CAOA would also amend the 2018 Farm Bill by defining hemp as cannabis with less than 0.7% THC on a dry weight basis. That would more than double the current THC threshold of 0.3% for hemp.

Regulatory Oversight

If the CAOA passes, it would task several federal agencies would take part in regulating marijuana at a federal level. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) would each be involved. The FDA would regulate the manufacture, distribution, and labeling of “cannabis products,” as well as register cannabis product manufacturers.

RELATED: Can The Biden Administration Deschedule Cannabis?

The FDA would also could initiate a recall of cannabis products. TTB, which would be renamed to include “cannabis”, would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the FDA to work on interagency regulation of cannabis. The CAOA would ban flavored electronic cannabis product delivery systems (e.g., vape pens).

Social Equity

The CAOA would grant wider access to banking by prohibiting banks from denying customers due to a “prior conviction for a nonviolent cannabis offense.” In addition, those convicted of low-level marijuana offenses could have their convictions expunged and those currently serving time for marijuana offenses could petition the courts for relief.

RELATED: Federal Court Rules Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC Is Lawful

The proposed bill would also provide funding to the Community Development Financial Institutions Funds “to provide grants to expand lending and investment in low-or moderate-income areas, including those most affected by the war on drugs.” The bill would also establish an Equitable Licensing Grant Program to provide states, localities or tribes the ability to encourage minority and low-income people to enter the cannabis industry. Through the Small Business Administration, CAOA would establish a lending program intended to help startups and small businesses owned by those impacted by the war on drugs.

marijuana legalization
Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

Bottom Line

Is the CAOA a perfect model for legalization? Probably not, as I am not sure there is a way to legalize cannabis that will please everyone. However, it is comprehensive and would completely change the cannabis industry. We’ll continue to cover national cannabis law and policy on the Green Light Law Blog. If you are looking for more on the CAOA, check out Kyle Jaeger’s comprehensive summary on Marijuana Moment.

Daniel Shortt is a corporate and regulatory attorney based in Seattle, Washington who works extensively with entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. You can contact him at info@gl-lg.com or (206) 430-1336. This article originally appeared on Green Light Law Group and has been reposted with permission. 



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Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

Sen. Cory Booker Says He’s Optimistic About Federal Marijuana Decriminalization After Signaling Possible Compromise

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By Nina Zdinjak

Weeks after the long-awaited marijuana decriminalization Senate bill was presented, it has faced a lot of criticism, mostly for its complexity. Many industry experts, such as Cantor Fitzgerald’s Pablo Zuanic and Emily Paxhia, co-founder of one of the longest-running dedicated cannabis investment funds, Poseidon Asset Management agree that the chances of the bill passing the Senate are slim. The bill is called the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA).

“There is too much packed into CAOA for this to get through, this was a Hail Mary bill put forth by Schumer and the supporting democrats,” Paxhia recently told Benzinga.

Chuck Schumer's Long-Awaited Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill Unveiled
Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

Nevertheless, one of the bill’s leading sponsors, Senator Cory Booker, remains optimistic about seeing marijuana decriminalized at the federal level.  “I’m actually gaining enthusiasm,” Booker told Pix11 on Wednesday.

“We have more and more state senators coming on to the major bill, and now more Republicans stepping up looking to help us perhaps land to compromise.”

The statement came on the heels of Booker having revealed that he is open to compromise, signaling the possibility of his chamber passing a marijuana banking measure with certain social equity components, before taking action on the CAOA.

“I’m open to compromises that are going to achieve my goals of safety, of investment opportunities that are equal for business communities, and, finally, to make sure we do something for all of these people right now who have marijuana possession charges that deserve some relief from the impact that it’s having on their economic and family wellbeing,” Booker told NJ Spotlight News last week.

RELATED: Sen. Cory Booker Open To Passing Marijuana Banking First, With This Condition

Previously, Booker had opposed passage of the SAFE Banking Act on its own, out of concern that it did not deal with restorative justice. Hence the news of his shift to accepting a possible compromise came as a surprise to many. It could also signal a challenging fate for CAOA despite Booker’s apparent enthusiasm.

In addition to expressing his optimism about reform, the senator stressed the importance of pushing for cannabis legalization on the federal level.

“You know since I got here, this prohibition on marijuana has particularly hurt low-income minority communities,” Booker said. “They were more marijuana arrests in 2019 for possession, than there were all violent crime arrests combined. And so we are wasting so many resources. What we need to do is decriminalize this on a federal level.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

Senate Democrats to roll out weed decriminalization bill next week – Cannabis Business Executive

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Senate Democrats to roll out weed decriminalization bill next week – Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news





























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