The Future of Medical Marijuana Reform– Now What?

by Michelle Rutter, NCIA Federal government Relations Manager

Late in the evening of September Sixth, your house Rules Committee held a hearing to go over changes to the approaching appropriations expense that will money the federal government for the upcoming . The Rules Committee is utilized by Home management to maintain control over your house flooring, and is heavily stacked in favor of the bulk celebration (by a 2:1 ratio).

Unfortunately, the committee chose not to enable the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (previously the Rohrabacher-Farr modification) to move on for a vote on the Flooring. In spite of the reality that 46 states have legalized some form of marijuana, 90% of the general public supports medical marijuana, and over 70% think the federal government ought to not interfere with state cannabis reforms, the Rules Committee singlehandedly chose to strip out the language securing states’ medical cannabis laws that have remained in law given that 2014.

Although this came as not a surprise, it is still disappointing. So, what’s next moving forward? There are a number of possible scenarios.

Circumstance 1: In July, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment offered by Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) by a voice vote. The Leahy change corresponds the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment and would protect medical cannabis organisations and clients for another year. If this legislation passes the Senate, the chance still exists for Congress to reconcile the differences and consent to maintain the present defenses in medical cannabis states.

Scenario 2: There are rumors flowing that Congress will pass a financing bill for Typhoon Harvey relief which this bill would consist of a financial obligation ceiling boost and continue funding the federal government through mid-December. If this happens, the Rohrabacher-Farr change will continue to safeguard medical cannabis clients and companies up until a new appropriations costs is passed.

Scenario 3: Neither your house or the Senate consent to maintaining this provision, and Congressional protections for states’ medical cannabis laws vanish in the short term. Although this is the worst situation of the 3 listed here, the opportunity still exists for Congress to re-insert this arrangement throughout next year’s spending plan settlements.

NCIA will continue to promote and communicate with Members of Congress on the behalf of the cannabis industry. While your house Rules Committee has made a frustrating decision, there is still hope that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer/Leahy modifications will be consisted of in federal law for yet another year. As we continue to represent our member-businesses, we will be alert in our efforts to bring about the very best possible favorable outcome in the present political climate.

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