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Sometimes, I Wonder. Failing to remove the D.C. rider prevents the nation’s capital from using local tax dollars to implement its legal cannabis program
President Joe Biden has once again moved to exclude Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales as part of the budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023, which he sent to Congress Monday.
Despite DC voters having overwhelmingly approved cannabis legalization in 2014, the district government has consistently been prevented by a legislative rider from implementing regulated cannabis sales each time the budget comes up. Failing to remove the D.C. rider prevents the nation’s capital from using local tax dollars to implement its legal cannabis program.
Congressional Democrats Elevate Marijuana Equity Issues At Retreat Panel Focused On Legalization
Democratic congressional lawmakers convened for a policy retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday that featured a panel on advancing marijuana reform with a focus on promoting equity.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) moderated the cannabis panel, which largely centered on the need to ensure that those most impacted by prohibition can benefit from federal legalization. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), was specifically discussed as advocates push for a floor vote on the proposal this month.
A Democratic congressional staffer familiar with the panel told that “the congresswoman’s feeling is still that racial justice and restorative justice needs to be at the centerpiece of any cannabis legislation that we put forward,” referring to Lee.
Notably, the event took place the day after the Democratic-controlled House approved a large-scale spending bill that continues a long-standing appropriations rider blocking Washington, D.C. from allowing cannabis commerce despite local voters’ approval of legalization at the ballot in 2014.
Despite that legislative setback for reform, sources emphasized that the panel discussion at the retreat focused on ensuring that equity is a focal point of any broader legalization legislation that advances on Capitol Hill.
Supernova Women Executive Director Amber Senter, who is a constituent of Lee’s and participated on the panel, told Marijuana Moment that there was extensive discussion about equity programs and clearing up misconceptions about who would qualify for equity benefits under proposed legalization legislation.
“I’m an operator and owner of a cannabis business in Oakland. And I wanted the lawmakers to understand the difference between social equity and black business,” she said, “because a lot of the lawmakers believe that they’re all the same—that if you’re a black person, you qualify for social equity, and that’s simply not true.”
“They were shocked. They were very intrigued, very engaged and want to follow up to learn how to protect black business,” Senter said.
Attendees seemed “very willing and open to learning more information about what’s happening from the operators’ perspective,” she said. “That was very encouraging. Lots of times in these types of settings, it’s policymakers that are speaking to the legislators, and they rarely get to hear from the operators on the ground who are affected by all these policies.”
Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) Executive Director Amber Littlejohn, who also participated in the session, told Marijuana Moment that “it is encouraging to see House Democrats continue to consider this issue—important enough to dedicate this type of time and thought to it” at the retreat.
“It’s particularly encouraging that the panelists that there were folks that are really centered on equity and ensuring that, as we legalize, it will be rooted in equity,” she said.
That point was echoed by Maritza Perez, another were panelist who serves as director of the office of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. She told Marijuana Moment that the MORE Act “continues to be the most far-reaching bill that addresses social equity in marijuana in Congress.”
Also speaking on the panel was the Brookings Institution’s John Hudak.
This isn’t the first time that congressional Democrats have put marijuana reform on the agenda for similar closed-door retreats. In 2019, Lee and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)—who are both co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus—also moderated a panel raising the issue to colleagues.
The agenda for that event touched on everything from the consequences of cannabis criminalization to frameworks that states have established as they’ve moved to enact legalization.
While it remains to be seen whether House leadership will put the MORE Act back on the floor this month, as advocates are pushing for, the bill did clear the Judiciary Committee in September. It passed the full chamber last session in a historic vote in 2020.
Ahead of Thursday’s Democratic caucus retreat, a GOP congressman, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), made a dismissive comment about the opposite party’s legislative priorities.
As questions were being raised about the timeline for the Democratic retreat amid negotiations over omnibus legislation, he made a sarcastic comment on Twitter: “Oh no! Will this delay the drag show or the discussion on racial equity in the cannabis industry?”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 4, 2022 — Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TCNNF Trulieve” or “the Company”
a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the U.S., will hold a conference call on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 8:30 AM Eastern Time following the release of its fourth quarter and full year 2021 financial results.
VAN NUYS, Calif., March 17, 2022- Eco Innovation Group, Inc, today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its patent covering methods of extraction of plant materials obtained using Glytech’s supercritical glycerin extraction technology exclusively licensed to ECOX.
LOS ANGELES, CA March 14, 2022 Cannabis Global, Inc. announces the signing of a definitive agreement between the Company and the owners of Caliwanna brands for comprehensive marketing and sales integration and acquisition of the Caliwanna cannabis brands.
Las Vegas, NV, March 15, 2022 Better clothing, better food, better gadgets. .is there anything hemp can’t do?
Today, the benefits of hemp-based batteries and how a group of American and Canadian researchers used hemp bast fiber (the inner bark of the plant that usually ends up in landfill) to develop a battery that has been used in cars and power tools.
According to Return to Now, the researchers “cooked the woody pulp and processed them into carbon nanosheets, which they used to build supercapacitors on a par with or better than graphene which is the industry gold standard.”