Legislation Update – The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (S.4591 / CAOA) recognizes the legalization of cannabis by the states.
The authors are the United States Congress Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Ron Wyden.
THC from 0.3% to 0.7% – The CAOA cannabis bill now before the U.S. Senate would establish the legality of all forms of THC naturally present in hemp, adding varieties, and then raise the overall limit for THC in hemp plants from 0.3% to 0.7%.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is a broad legislative initiative to decriminalize cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and empowering states to create their own cannabis laws.
The 163-page bill covers a wide range of cannabis issues with the aim of:
- Ending the decades-long federal cannabis prohibition
- Regulating cannabis
- Supporting medical research
- Reinvesting in disadvantaged communities targeted in the War on Drugs
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
- ABC NEWS– The bill was called by ABC News in 2021 “the first time in history [senators from a major party] introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances” and end federal prohibition.
- NY TIMES – The New York Times wrote that the bill was unlikely to become law, but was significant because the “Senate’s top leader and the chairman of the powerful Finance Committee would sponsor major decriminalization legislation would have been fantastical in the not-too-distant past”.
- AP – The Associated Press wrote that the support of the Senate Majority Leader for ending prohibition “underscor[es] how a once-fringe idea is increasingly mainstream”.
This bill has a 3% chance of being enacted.
Predictions are by Skopos Labs.
SUMMARY OF THE CANNABIS ADMINISTRATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT
Americans have made their voices heard across the country, through their ballot boxes, their legislatures and with their dollars: the War on Drugs has failed, and it’s time for lawmakers in Washington to respect the rights of states that have chosen to legalize cannabis.
Nearly all Americans live in a state with some form of legal cannabis. Nineteen states have legalized adult use of cannabis, reaching over 40 percent of Americans. Another 38 states have medical cannabis programs. An overwhelming majority of American adults, 91 percent, believe that cannabis should be legal for either adult or medical use.
The cannabis industry, largely made up of small businesses, employs nearly 430,000 workers, and generated over $25 billion in sales in 2021–presents a significant opportunity for entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. By 2025, it is estimated that the cannabis industry could exceed $45 billion in annual sales.
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