Congress Should Protect Small Marijuana Businesses From Big Tobacco Takeover, Colorado Attorney General Says

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The attorney general of Colorado on Wednesday sent a letter urging congressional leaders to ensure that small marijuana businesses are protected from being overtaken by Big Tobacco and other major industries as federal cannabis reform legislation advances. Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) wrote that his state is “heartened” to see efforts on Capitol Hill to end federal cannabis prohibition and create a regulatory framework that still empowers states to make their own policy decisions. But he expressed concerns about large corporations potentially gobbling up the industry if preventative steps aren’t taken. Weiser specifically discussed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), a bill to federally deschedule marijuana and promote social equity that’s being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). The trio has asked for public input on the proposal. “I submit this letter in response to requests for comments to that proposed law and request that the Congress engage with the states when designing a federal regulatory system that protects public health and safety,” Weiser said. Ensuring that small businesses are empowered to participate in the marijuana industry is a major priority, the attorney general argued. And, therefore, the official said a national market should be rolled out in thoughtful way to prevent large corporations from overtaking the industry. “If a national market is not rolled-out carefully and in stages, large companies, particularly existing tobacco-focused companies, will be able to move into new markets immediately, displacing and pushing out smaller players,” he wrote. Schumer, for his part, has emphasized that his bill will specifically seek to restrict the ability of large alcohol and tobacco companies to overtake the industry. “Without phased implementation, we are concerned these businesses will be pushed out of the market thus diminishing…

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Source : Congress Should Protect Small Marijuana Businesses From Big Tobacco Takeover, Colorado Attorney General Says

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