Cannabis Legislation Unveiled: What's in Store for the Rest of 2023?

Vangst/Oct 12, 2023

hero-graphic-Cannabis Legislation Unveiled: What's in Store for the Rest of 2023?

In this week's episode of the Proud to Work in Cannabis podcast, featuring host Karson Humiston, CEO & Founder of Vangst, we are thrilled to bring you an in-depth conversation with Saphira Galoob, the Executive Director at the National Cannabis Roundtable. No matter if you're new to the cannabis world or are an old pro, this episode is a goldmine of information on the ever-evolving world of cannabis legislation and its potential impact on businesses. Let's dive in!

The Legislative Side of Progress

In this engaging episode, Saphira Galoob highlights the fascinating developments in the realm of cannabis legislation. She reveals that the cannabis industry has made remarkable strides, and it's now a priority in the Senate. With the recent success of SAFE Banking Act, which passed via regular order, the industry has garnered vital support and is well-positioned for further progress.

Overview of Cannabis Reform History

Saphira delves into the historic journey of the SAFE Banking Act, emphasizing its significance. This legislation has passed the House seven times, and recently, it underwent a formal markup in the Senate Banking Committee. This is a rare feat, as the Senate has only marked up two bills in the last five years, making cannabis's progress noteworthy.

Why SAFE Banking's Senate Progress Matters

For the cannabis industry, securing Senate votes is pivotal, and the path to success requires the bill to undergo "regular order." Saphira explains that the bill has already completed the hearing and markup stages, and now rests in Leader Schumer's hands for Senate floor consideration. Saphira notes that while the focus is on Republican support, some Democratic representatives may also influence the bill's outcome.

What Comes Next?

The broader political landscape and annual spending bills play a significant role in the future of cannabis legislation. The passing of SAFE Banking may be influenced by the congressional schedule, which could extend into March. Saphira suggests that this timing is not necessarily fatal for the bill's progress, given the opportunities within the current congressional session.

OK, But What Comes After That?

Karson and Saphira explore the post-SAFE Banking scenario. The House and Senate would need to negotiate and agree on the final language of the legislation. It's crucial to ensure that the Senate bill remains narrowly tailored to facilitate smoother negotiations and passage.

Diving into Rescheduling

Saphira discusses two potential paths to cannabis legalization: through congressional rescheduling or administrative review. The latter involves a meticulous scientific analysis, primarily focused on the plant's properties. This approach has been met with mixed reactions in the cannabis industry.

Process & Timeline of Rescheduling

Saphira outlines the administrative law process for potential rescheduling, where the Department of Justice and the DEA would publish an "interim final rule." This rule would consider specific criteria that align with the DOJ and DEA's jurisdiction. A public comments period would follow the decision, adding an element of public involvement.

How Rescheduling Would Impact Businesses

The potential rescheduling of cannabis carries significant implications. It could lead to the removal of 280E, allowing businesses and investors to see more substantial returns on their investments. Moreover, rescheduling could bolster the credibility of cannabis for both medical and social purposes, paving the way for more supportive legislation.

Saphira’s Predictions for the Rest of 2023

Saphira offers cautious optimism about the possibility of passing SAFE Banking by the end of 2023. However, she emphasizes the unpredictability of the political landscape and potential curveballs. She predicts a formal recommendation for cannabis to move to Schedule III, which could usher in rulemaking by year-end.

How You Can Help

Saphira encourages proactive involvement in the process. Engage with Chambers of Commerce and reach out to your local members of Congress. Invite lawmakers to visit your businesses and educate them about the cannabis industry. Remember to maintain a positive and respectful approach. Saphira reminds us that we're all in this together, regardless of our political affiliations.

Proud to Work in Cannabis

As we conclude this enlightening episode of Proud to Work in Cannabis, we're reminded that the journey of cannabis legislation is filled with twists and turns. Yet, with persistence and active participation, we can work towards a more inclusive, thriving cannabis industry. So, make sure to listen to the full episode to get the complete scoop on the future of cannabis. It's a journey worth following, and we're all a part of this exciting narrative!

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