‘The Clash Between State and Federal Law in the Cannabis Industry’: 4 Key Takeaways on Federal Policy Reform Efforts

Friday, June 24, 2022

Joseph Bedwick and Patrick Martin were quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing the future of federal cannabis policy reform. While they said that federal lawmakers tend to follow public opinion at a slow pace, they both noted that policymakers also typically shy away from overly complicated issues. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has called the current federal policy on cannabis “a half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids the local use of marijuana,” but Joe told Cannabis Business Times that, at the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court seems hesitant to take up cannabis-related cases or issue a significant ruling that could, for example, reschedule or deschedule cannabis at the federal level. 

While comprehensive legislation to federally legalize cannabis has gained momentum in recent years—the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act has passed the House twice and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Cory Booker, D-N.J, are expected to formally introduce the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) sometime this summer—Patrick said that Schumer is beginning to have conversations with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill about compromise legislation that could gain the support needed to clear Congress this year.

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