Harris Bricken: Federal Cannabis Legislation: The CAOA is Back!

Harris Bricken: Federal Cannabis Legislation: The CAOA is Back!

Hilary Bricken writes Yesterday, Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden presented the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) in the Senate. This version of the CAOA is a big deal, as it’s been over a year since the discussion draft of the bill was shown to the public. It’s also a big deal because we finally have a meaningful cannabis bill (with the input of many, many stakeholders) originating from the Senate, which is notorious for otherwise killing off House-generated cannabis legislation– including the SAFE Banking Act. The CAOA now heads for Senate committee consideration. No one knows its chances of passing, either as written, modified, or combined with one or more of the House proposals. What does this version of the CAOA do? Senator Booker’s website states that the CAOA would: “End federal cannabis prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act; empower states to create their own cannabis laws; ensure federal regulation protects public health and safety; and prioritize restorative and economic justice.” The details, among many others (including for research and employment and labor impacts), are that the CAOA: Completely removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) but allows federal enforcement for trafficking in those states that choose to retain prohibition. Notably, interstate commerce is explicitly allowed. As with hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, licensed operators will be able to transport cannabis through prohibition states, even though they can’t sell there. Allows states to maintain their own licensing programs with their own barriers to entry, just like we have now. Removes the Drug Enforcement Administration as the main enforcement agency in favor of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (which would be renamed the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”)). Treats cannabis…

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Source : Harris Bricken: Federal Cannabis Legislation: The CAOA is Back!

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