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While cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, the Biden-Kamala Harris presidency could shift the scenario in favor of marijuana decriminalization. In particular, when the MORE Act is presented on the floor to become a law. According to the bill, past criminal records will be expunged and the cannabis community will be able to consume marijuana without having to worry about a possible arrest.
Interestingly, it’s not just the MORE Act that will bring about a huge change for the cannabis industry. If you look at the existing status of legalization, especially in states such as Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, it is fair to say that marijuana legalization marches forward in other states as well.
While some believe that this victory means a new reform awaits the cannabis industry, Congress (those against marijuana legalization) will have to consider cannabis decriminalization as a part of their policy-making strategies. Perhaps, a situation could arise where Congress is eventually forced to take a concrete decision over federal legalization. The only exception, in this case, is uncertainty regarding how things will turn out. With Kamla as VP, who also is the biggest supporter of cannabis decriminalization, the cannabis industry can bet on things to come out in their favor.
Even before Biden became the president of the US, voters’ response to legalizing adult-use cannabis was seen in four states – Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. This response clearly indicated that even if lawmakers take time to form cannabis regulations
, the voters have clearly shown whether they stand in favor of marijuana legalization or not.
Take New Jersey’s recently found legal status as an example. The state residents clearly voted in favor of marijuana legalization. This means that the elected members from New Jersey might feel the pressure to view cannabis from a different perspective. The only exception so far is that the Garden State has to issue guidelines, issue licenses to medical marijuana dispensary holders. The process can take a few months. Until then you have to use a medical marijuana recommendation to purchase cannabis from dispensaries. Moreover, the impact of states continuously legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes will influence the states who are on the verge of legalizing cannabis for recreational use.
The SAFE Banking Act, which is also part of the COVID Relief Bill, if passed would help businessmen carry out legal financial transactions. The SAFE Act allows canna-entrepreneurs, whether big or small to tie up with national banks. So far, due to the illegal status, national banks have hesitated from tying up with cannabis companies. As a result, the billion-dollar cannabis industry is forced to carry barrels of cash.
Even if Congress decides to leave cannabis out of the picture and passes the rest of the COVID Relief Bill, it won’t stop the cannabis industry from expanding and growing. Until then wait for the Democrats to present the bill on the floor and see whether things turn out in the favor of the cannabis industry or not.
Whether the Republicans like it or not, Kamala Harris will push the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 further in the house. She has always supported marijuana legalization and advocated the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Now, that she has some control over the White House, it looks like things could weigh in favor of the cannabis community. The only problem here is the GOP-Senate.
The GOP-Senate with Mitch McConnel as the majority leader may cause several problems for the Democrats. The question is whether Democrats will fight to change the policies. Or else compromise with the GOP on policies including cannabis bills. So far, the scenario is in favor of the GOP and we have to wait until dozens of GOP senators go for re-election in 2022.
Unless a miracle happens and the Democrats end up controlling both the houses, looks like the fate of cannabis bills is still a blur. But that doesn’t mean that we will not be able to see any progress in the future. As Biden and Kamala go along they will definitely look forward to decriminalizing cannabis on the federal level. This could mean the next few years or more as the situation demands.
For now, talk to a medical marijuana doctor and get a cannabis recommendation to stay on the safe side. Rest assured as more and more states legalize cannabis for adult-use, Congress will be forced to think otherwise. And, by all accounts, the Republicans who stand against federal legalization of marijuana.
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