The comprehensive legislation would end the federal ban on cannabis by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act; empowering states to create their own cannabis laws; ensuring that federal regulations protect public health and safety; and prioritize restorative and economic justice
Senators refined and expanded their discussion draft released last year after receiving more than 1,800 comments and working with various Senate committees
Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act: text can be found HERE, The summary of the introduced CAOA can be foundHEREA summary of the revisions made to the CAOA Discussion Draft can be found HERE.
washington d.c. – U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, (D-OR) presented today the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), comprehensive legislation that would end the harmful and disconnected federal prohibition of cannabis by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and allowing states to implement their own laws on cannabis. HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and HSGAC Committee Chair Gary Peters (D-MI) also co-sponsored the legislation.
Legislation establishes federal regulatory framework to protect public health and safety, prioritizes restorative and economic justice to help undo decades of harm caused by failed drug war, ends discrimination in granting federal benefits based on cannabis use, provides major investments for cannabis research, and strengthens worker protections. By decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level, the CAOA also ensures that state legal cannabis businesses or those in adjacent industries will no longer be denied access to bank accounts or financial services simply because of their ties to cannabis. .
The CAOA was first published as discussion project last yearalongside a request for stakeholder feedback. After receiving more than 1,800 comments and working with various Senate committees, the senators refined and developed the draft discussion proposal, which they officially present today. A full summary of the CAOA Discussion Draft revisions can be found HERE.
“As more states legalize cannabis and work to reverse the many injustices the failed war on drugs has inflicted on blacks, browns and low-income people, the federal government continues to lag terribly behind”, said Senator Booker. “With strong restorative justice provisions for communities impacted by the war on drugs, support for small cannabis businesses, and the removal of federal cannabis offenses, this bill reflects common sense policy on drug warfare. long-awaited drug. I am proud to have joined Senators Schumer and Wyden in introducing this essential bill. The support we have received from committee chairs and outside groups underscores the historic nature of this bill and the urgent need for Congress to pass it.
“For too long, federal cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs has been a war on people, and especially people of color,” said Chief Schumer. “The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act will be a catalyst for change by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, protecting public health and safety, and expunging the criminal records of those who have committed offenses minor cannabis breakthroughs, giving millions a new lease on life. about life. A majority of Americans now support the legalization of cannabis, and Congress must act in an effort to end decades of overcriminalization. It’s time to end the federal ban on cannabis.
“It’s no longer a question of whether cannabis should be legal.” States are moving forward, and not only do the overwhelming majority of Americans support legalization, they now live in a state where some form of cannabis is legal,” said Senator Wyden. “I would ask my colleagues in the Senate to think long and hard about what keeping the federal government stuck in the past means for public health and safety. By failing to act, the federal government is bolstering the illicit cannabis market, it is ruining lives, and by supporting deep-rooted racism in our criminal justice system, it is preventing small cannabis businesses from growing and creating jobs in their communities. Cannabis legalization is here, and Congress needs to get on the agenda.
“It’s high time the federal government caught up with Washington State when it comes to cannabis laws,” said Senator Murray. “This bill is about justice, strengthening our economy and bringing the federal government into the 21st century. This legislation will reverse deeply unjust and racially unjust laws that have disproportionately harmed most people of color – this is hugely important. This bill will also strengthen our economy by finally recognizing the cannabis industry and modernizing federal regulations. I am committed to making this legislation work for Washington State, where we led the nation on common sense cannabis laws.
“This legislation makes significant changes to bring federal cannabis policy in line with where the majority of the country is today – and what Michiganders have already voted for,” said Senator Peters. “By legalizing cannabis federally, we can protect public health and safety, support cannabis businesses as they grow, create jobs and seek safe and reliable access to banking services, and right the past wrongs of many Americans. — especially people of color — who have been unduly punished for minor, non-violent cannabis-related offences.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act:
Protects public health establishing strong health and safety standards for cannabis under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requiring states to keep cannabis out of the hands of those under 21, ensuring that cannabis producers be licensed and their products be labeled consistently, and requiring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) to provide recommendations and advice regarding the medical use of cannabis by VA and IHS patients.
Protect public safety implementing strong anti-diversion rules, including a track and trace system, adopting quantitative limits on retail purchases to combat the production and distribution of cannabis on the illicit market, establish grants to help small law enforcement agencies hire and train officers, and the establishment of a new effort at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to fight impaired driving and multi-substance.
Prioritizes restorative and economic justice automatically expunging federal cannabis convictions and encouraging states to do the same, removing barriers to the cannabis industry, and expanding access to loans and capital for entrepreneurs harmed by war failure against drugs, and end discrimination in the granting of federal benefits – like federal housing or federal student loans – on the basis of cannabis use.
Regulates and taxes cannabis transferring federal jurisdiction over cannabis from the Drug Enforcement Agency to the FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) within the Treasury Department, and implementing a regulatory regime similar to that for alcohol and tobacco, while recognizing the unique nature of cannabis products. It also removes the tax code’s restriction on cannabis businesses claiming deductions for business expenses and introduces an excise tax on cannabis products.
Encourages cannabis research demanding more federal research on the effects of cannabis on public health and safety, establishing clinical trials through the VA to study the effects of medical cannabis on veterans’ health outcomes, compiling industry-related data and trends, and establishing grants to build cannabis research capacity at educational institutions higher education, with particular emphasis on institutions serving minorities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Strengthens workers’ rights eliminating unnecessary pre-employment cannabis testing of federal and random employees, while preserving appropriate drug testing for certain sensitive categories of employees where continued testing is deemed necessary, including national security , law enforcement and commercial transportation; and ensuring worker protections for those employed in the cannabis industry.
The text of the invoice can be found HERE.
The summary of the introduced CAOA can be found HERE.
Summary of CAOA Discussion Draft Revisions can be found HERE.