Democrats support cannabis legislation, unfortunately, they haven’t been able to move the ball over the line. Seeing an opening, Republican members of Congress said they plan on formally introducing a bill to federally legalize and tax marijuana called the States Reform Act or SRA. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is sponsoring the bill along with five Republican cosponsors. Democrats have two different piece of legislation being considered. One focuses mostly on banking whereas the other is more far reaching. The industry has been pushing for the banking reform because they felt that they could get the Republicans on board.
However, the Democrats seemed to get bogged down in wanting to go further than just banking reform. The Republican version would end federal prohibition while existing cannabis companies can continue operating as federal rules change.
The States Reform Act:
- Federally decriminalizes cannabis and fully defers to state powers over prohibition and commercial regulation
- Regulates cannabis products like alcohol products
- Institutes a 3% federal excise tax on those products to fund law enforcement and small business programs.
- Ensures the continued existence of state medical cannabis programs and patient access while allowing for new medical research and products to be developed
- Protects our veterans by ensuring they will not be discriminated against in federal hiring for cannabis use or lose their VA healthcare for following their doctor’s advice to use medical cannabis
- Protects children and young adults under 21 from cannabis products and advertising nationwide
The following industry leaders have weighed in:
Trulieve – Kim Rivers, CEO
“The States Reform Act is a consequential step in the right direction for common sense cannabis reform at the federal level. Our current piecemeal approach to legalization is not only unnecessarily cumbersome from a compliance perspective, but ultimately stymies the long-term growth of the legal industry. Allowing our existing federal structure to regulate cannabis businesses will allow legal companies to operate by a set of standardized guidelines, which ultimately bolsters consumer trust and minimizes risk for investors. Until the bill is passed, Trulieve believes Congress must still prioritize passing the SAFE Banking Act to ensure cannabis companies can fully access the financial resources they need to scale.”
Entourage Effect Capital – Matt Hawkins, Managing Partner
“While Representative Mace’s States Reform Act (SRA) applies necessary pressure on Congress to pass cannabis reforms, Congress’ primary focus should still be the SAFE Banking Act. At this stage, public safety and tax compliance are two key issues that both cannabis industry stakeholders and regulators want to address immediately, and this can be done directly through SAFE without broaching the topic of legalization. Considering the immense growth of the legal industry in the past year alone, it is imperative to bring cannabis into the mainstream financial system so that businesses of all sizes can build constructive relationships with federal regulators and access the appropriate resources to scale.”
Curaleaf – Joe Bayern, CEO
“We’re incredibly encouraged by this proposed bill, which is a thoughtful approach to decriminalization and includes common sense parameters for existing state markets, regulation, taxation, safe harbor, criminal justice reform, age-appropriate restrictions, hiring practices and veterans’ access. We are grateful to Representative Nancy Mace for blazing another trail in the quest to destigmatize this plant and unlock the economic and job creation opportunities of our emerging industry, along with the health and wellness possibilities for millions of Americans who have already demanded an alternative to traditional routes of medication and relaxation.”
Glass House Brands – Kyle Kazan, CEO
“While we continue to build a multi-billion dollar cannabis industry and debate the details of legalization, many thousands of people are wasting away behind bars. Within this bill are the keys to their cells, and that’s the reason to support it. The time for discussion is over, and we must act as though it is our loved ones who are watching precious moments of their lives tick away. Pass this bill.”
Ayr Wellness (OTCQX:AYRWF) – Jon Sandelman, CEO
This bill represents the latest step towards the mainstreaming of the U.S. cannabis sector. This industry has thrived despite federal illegality, delivering results and experiencing incredible growth despite headwinds of all types. The industry and its participants of all sizes deserve the opportunities that federal reform will provide.
We applaud the courage we’ve seen on both sides of the aisle in addressing this important issue, most recently Rep. Mace who added a new Republican voice to the discussion of common-sense cannabis legalization. While this discussion is still in its early phases, we believe it is important that both sides of the aisle are actively engaging in conversation to create a fair, safe and regulated cannabis industry that benefits all stakeholders, including local communities and those disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.”
Ascend Wellness (OTCQX:AAWH) – Abner Kurtin, CEO
“U.S. Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC) has introduced a strong middle-ground solution to federal cannabis legalization with the States Reform Act —[it’s not as ambitious as the CAOA but is more productive than the STATES Act, and thus more likely to see the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. The presentation of a Republican-led cannabis reform bill is a huge milestone for cannabis, proving that leaders on both sides of the fence recognize the major importance of our industry in terms of public health, local and state tax growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Although we would have liked more emphasis on social equity initiatives, we’re glad to see measures in the bill support increased access to the legal market, small businesses and re-entry into society for those with nonviolent cannabis offenses.”
Greenlane – Nick Kovacevich, CEO
“Everyone knows that the current Democratic leadership is eager to legalize cannabis, but the fear is that they won’t be able to find a path through Republican resistance. The fact that a Republican is dropping a legalization bill is very encouraging because it will display a middle ground toward accomplishing this ever-important goal — the legalization of cannabis. Furthermore, this is a smart move by the GOP since they are gaining momentum into the midterms and cannabis is such a popular issue with the voters. If successful with cannabis legalization, it could result in broad election success come a year from now.”
Pelorus Equity Group – Rob Sechrist, President
“At a time when the cannabis industry has added hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions in tax dollars, and large-scale infrastructure projects without government handouts, this measure would be a meaningful step forward towards continuing the economic growth that cannabis has created. A more targeted approach is the most likely to get the bipartisan support necessary to get the 60 votes required in the Senate. We look forward to seeing State laws being deconflicted from Federal law as soon as possible.”
Jushi Holdings – Jim Cacioppo, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Founder
“Jushi commends U.S. Representative Nancy Mace, R-SC for her interest in responsibly bringing an end to federal cannabis prohibition and her excellent work in preparing the States Reform Act. Representative Mace’s States Reform Act is a comprehensive, thoughtful measure that strikes a commonsense balance between supporting important public health, safety, and welfare priorities on the one hand, and ensuring disproportionate enforcement of minor, non-violent cannabis possession crimes cannot continue to harm communities across our country on the other. ”