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  • Writer's pictureWill Furtado

Majority Leader Schumer Sets April Timeline for Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

February 10, 2022: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), sent a letter to Congressional colleagues Thursday, requesting comment on the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Citing the "significant questions around criminal justice reform, economic development and small business growth, and public health and safety" as underscoring the need for comprehensive legislation, Senator Schumer has stated that he hopes to see a draft version of the bill introduced in the Senate by April.

Representing the most comprehensive and serious effort to overhaul cannabis legislation since passage of the Controlled Substances Act, the CAOA proposes to:

  • Remove marijuana/THC from the Controlled Substances Act

  • Transfer agency jurisdiction over cannabis from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Food and Drug Administration, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

  • Allow transit of of cannabis products in interstate commerce, regardless of located in a state where cannabis is legal or illegal.

  • Impose a federal excise tax on the sale of cultivated marijuana – 10% first year, followed by annual increases up to 25% over the next three years.

  • Establish a trust fund managed by the Small Business Administration for loans to women and historically disadvantaged individuals for use in the cannabis industry.

  • Provide funding to states to be used in connection with expungement proceedings for those convicted of state level marijuana crimes.

  • Establish and conduct a study into the impacts of cannabis use on the human brain, the efficacy of cannabis use for medical purposes, driving under the influence of marijuana

  • Create federal advertising regulations.

Though support for decriminalization of cannabis at the federal level is at an all-time high, with broad bipartisan public and congressional support, several competing approaches are currently pending in the House or Senate, and passage of the CAOA is by no means guaranteed. A summary of those competing efforts can be found in Furtado Law's prior blog post.

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