On Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) released draft legislation titled the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Today, adult use of cannabis, which is classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), is legal in 18 states, and the medical use of cannabis is legal in 37 states, though cannabis use remains illegal under federal law. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would expunge federal non-violent marijuana crimes to petition a court for resentencing, reinvest federal cannabis tax revenue into communities historically afflicted by the “War on Drugs,” and ultimately end the federal prohibition of cannabis, while allowing states to continue to determine their own cannabis laws. If implemented, regulatory responsibility of cannabis would be transferred from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The bill includes several provisions for additional research to investigate the impact of legalization on public health, driving safety, and similar areas. Senators Schumer, Booker, and Wyden are currently seeking feedback from the public as the proposal is finalized, encouraging stakeholders to submit comments by September 1st, 2021.
The discussion draft has not yet been formally introduced on the Senate floor. Senators Schumer, Wyden, and Booker are taking comment from lawmakers and the general public, including advocates, the cannabis industry, public health experts, and the law enforcement community, until September 1.
Read more on the draft bill details on McGuireWoods Consulting’s website.