Although cannabis consumption is becoming more universally utilized across the United States, the democratic party is the side that politically supports legalization. As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office at the inauguration on January 20, what will we expect from our friends next door?
“Along with earlier action by state legislatures or voters, 15 states have legalized marijuana, while 36 others have approved some form of medicinal marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.” However, cannabis is still illegal under US federal law, making users and suppliers still vulnerable to prosecution even in places where it is legal to utilize cannabis. This dynamic duo ran on a ticket of promising new regulations on cannabis legalization and decriminalization; let’s breakdown some of their campaign promises.
SAFE Banking Act
This act would let banks and financial institutions legally conduct business with the cannabis industry that wouldn’t infringe on federal law. Meaning these businesses will not be persecuted federally for working within the industry. If passed, this bill puts the cannabis industry into a whole new league of players. Banks and financial institutions have one goal in mind and that’s to turn as much profit as possible. With more money being funneled in and out of the cannabis sector, how much growth will we see in the US and what will be the trickle effect in Canada and across the globe?
This act would give power to each state to be able to create their own regulations and legalize cannabis (or not) without having to seek federal support or break any federal laws when conducting business. This act can give banks extra cover to work with cannabis firms without the more extreme step of blanket legalization. If passed, this act will likely be a temporary band aid until all of the States within the US are forced to legalize even if certain swing states disagree. This act could be seen as a compromise, allowing each state to govern their constituents how they see best.
This Act will fully remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act essentially making it the path of least resistance when it comes to legalization. According to Forbes, “Democratic leadership has been so supportive of the proposal that they have repeatedly promised a vote this year. While a planned vote this summer was delayed, leadership continues to promise that it will receive a vote on the House floor during the lame duck session, where it is expected to pass…” If passed, this is the piece of legislation that would likely impact the cannabis industry the most as it would lead to a wide array of cannabis reform.
The many proposed changes sound promising. If the Biden/Harris camp is able to accomplish all three acts it would forever change the state of Cannabis in the United States. As a Canadian company it would be natural to think “why do we care?” since cannabis is already legal in Canada. However, if one of our largest trading partners can legalize, cannabis as a business industry would change forever. Other industries like medicine, sports therapy, cosmetics, food, and beverage will be all be affected.
Many Americans, Canadians, and the global community will be tuning into the inauguration of President Joe Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris out of excitement and curiosity for the next transition of power. Many of us passionate cannabis advocates will be watching to see what happens next. What will this presidency and the next four years have instore for the cannabis industry?