by Michelle Rutter, Government Relations Manager
On February 16th, the House of Representatives took another step towards recognizing the need for federal reform of cannabis laws. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) announced their newly formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The bipartisan coalition will focus on issues like medical research, access for veterans, and business needs — including banking and 280E reform.
The four co-chairs of the caucus were united in their support for states to be allowed to determine their own cannabis policies. In addition, the group noted that the growing momentum for reform across the country has finally reached the halls of Congress. With eight more states legalizing some form of cannabis just this past November, the caucus co-chairs say there has been a “tremendous increase” in interest for joining the caucus, including from Republicans. The caucus will also allow members to talk freely about cannabis legislation and give the opportunity to show that cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs are an important part of the American economy.
Prior to the announcement today, the House had started an informal marijuana working group, but decided that it’s now time for a more formal cannabis caucus that seeks to educate other Members of Congress on the discrepancy between state and federal law, the importance of making sure that cannabis businesses are treated fairly, and that states’ rights are protected. The Cannabis Caucus is also an opportunity for NCIA to educate Capitol Hill staffers and policymakers on the issues our members face on a regular basis.
Join us in Washington, D.C., May 16-17, for NCIA’s 2017 Cannabis Industry Lobby Days!
NCIA’s Cannabis Industry Lobby Days provide the best opportunity to show our nation’s decision-makers what a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry looks like and to help raise awareness of issues like the unfair tax and banking policies hampering our industry’s potential to grow and be treated like any other U.S. business sector. Your $25/person registration fee includes a lobby training session with NCIA’s government relations staff and two days of coordinated meetings with congressional offices across Capitol Hill.