Colorado Governor Urges Senators To Pass Marijuana Banking And Tax Reform Before Tackling Legalization


The governor of Colorado on Friday sent a letter to the Senate sponsors of a federal marijuana legalization bill, urging them to pass incremental cannabis banking and tax reform first before moving forward with the comprehensive legislation to end prohibition. Gov. Jared Polis (D) is supportive of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA)—a bill to 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). But he insisted that there are more modest and practical steps that should be taken first to support state-legal markets and protect businesses. “I am thrilled that you are bringing forward a long-term, comprehensive solution that deschedules cannabis while enhancing social equity pathways,” the governor wrote. “I hope that you will first focus your efforts on the two biggest barriers to the success of the cannabis industry: banking and IRS Code Section 280E.” That latter statute has precluded state-legal marijuana businesses from making federal tax deductions that are available to other traditional industries. Polis said the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on several occasions, “has more bipartisan support than ever before and can be passed in the short-term as you continue to work on the details of the CAOA.” The senators behind the CAOA recognize that banking reform has an easier path to passage, but they’ve insisted on prioritizing the legalization bill first, in part to avoid jeopardizing support for broader reform from on-the-fence members. Some advocates have also protested putting the SAFE Banking Act to a vote first, as it’s viewed as primarily friendly to the industry without concrete social equity provisions. Booker said in July that he “will lay myself down” to block…

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Source : Colorado Governor Urges Senators To Pass Marijuana Banking And Tax Reform Before Tackling Legalization

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