The National Craft Cannabis Coalition, comprised of state-level advocacy groups from Oregon, California, Washington, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts, was formed with the goal of promoting state and federal policies that support small-scale growers, starting with the SHIP Act introduced by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).
Never mind that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is the lead sponsor. Never mind that 68% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, a figure that includes 83% of Democrats and half of Republicans. And never mind that there’s a midterm election coming up in which passage would be an undeniable boost to Democrats’ electoral fortunes.
Booker and the others wrote a letter to the president asking for marijuana to be removed from the list of Schedule 1 drugs. They also called on Biden to pardon all individuals convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes.
The letter stated in part, "The administration's failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy, is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research, and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and New Jersey’s Cory Booker released a letter Thursday asking senators whose states have legalized marijuana and those who sit on committees with oversight of federal drug policy to share their thoughts as the three attempt to perfect the legislation.
“Hundreds of millions of Americans live in states that have legalized cannabis in some form while it remains illegal at the federal level,” they wrote.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden is ahead of incumbent Donald Trump by 10%, according to a new general election poll from Rasmussen Reports.
While a potential Biden presidency could pose some challenges for investors, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic said the Democratic platform is good news for U.S. cannabis stock investors.
Full Federal Legalization
The Biden campaign released a 100-page document outlining the Democratic Party platform this week, and Zuanic says there are multiple bullish takeaways for U.S. multi-state operators, or MSOs:
They are all Democrats, but the primary candidates vying for the right to challenge U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, differ on how they view legalization of recreational cannabis.
Montclair State University Professor Brigid Harrison, of Longport; West Cape May Commissioner John Francis; and former House Oversight Committee staffer Will Cunningham, of Vineland, favor legalization as a social justice and economic driver.
How does he plan to legalize marijuana?
Sanders‘ proposes to deschedule marijuana, which would completely remove it from its classification under the Controlled Substances Act as highly dangerous and without any medicinal value.
Marijuana is now classified in the most restrictive category under federal drug laws — Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act — along with heroin and LSD.
In his 40 years in the Senate, as is now well known, Biden was a key architect of harsh criminal penalties for nonviolent drug users. Undoing much of his own work was one way to make sense of a large part of the criminal justice plan his presidential campaign recently released. Finding a centrist's safe-and-happy medium on weed in particular, Biden has not embraced legalization—a.k.a. commercialized, recreational pot use—but has claimed to back decriminalization, or removing at least most pot offenses from the criminal justice system.
Across the United States, states are taking a new look at marijuana, with an unprecedented number of legislatures considering bills in 2019 to allow licensed sales or at least approve of medical use. But under federal law, cannabis remains illegal from sea to shining sea.
Eventually, the nation may reach a tipping point, when change at the federal level becomes inevitable.
“I don't think that we've ever been in a better place,” said Morgan Fox, the media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a trade advocacy group.
One of the key U.S. Senate committees has recently stated that the Scheduling of cannabis from the federal level is impeding the amount of research that can be done into life-saving cures or treatments. This battle has been going on for some time now, but it now seems as though cannabis could have a louder voice amongst the U.S.