What Does a Democrat-Controlled Senate Mean for Federal Cannabis Policy Reform?

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<![CDATA[After Democrats secured the majority in the U.S. Senate following the Jan. 5 Georgia Senate runoff election, many in the cannabis industry are undoubtedly wondering how the shift in power might affect federal reform efforts.“The Senate flipping from red to blue is a huge green light for cannabis policy,” Melissa Kuipers Blake, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “[Incoming Majority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer has long been an advocate of cannabis reform, particularly the MORE Act, and we expect him to act on comprehensive cannabis reform in the coming year.”RELATED: How U.S. House, Senate Results Could Influence Cannabis LegislationAccording to Kris Krane, founder and president of 4Front Ventures, the parent company of Mission Dispensaries, the Democrats taking control of the Senate “changes things completely.”“It’s an entirely different calculus now in terms of what we can get accomplished at the federal level than it was just a few days ago, when it looked like we’d be looking at the prospects of the Biden administration and a Republican Senate,” Krane tells Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.RELATED: What Would a Joe Biden Presidency Mean for the Cannabis Industry?With a Republican-controlled Senate, Krane says passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act appeared somewhat likely, and while the legislation’s efforts to increase the industry’s access to banking would be a welcome change, significant, long-lasting changes in federal law seemed out of reach.Now, with Democrats at the helm of a unified government in Washington, Krane says the industry has a chance at real federal reform, possibly for the first time ever.Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated that he wants to make cannabis legalization a priority, Krane says, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been historically receptive to reform efforts.The House passed the SAFE Banking…

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