Congress Edges Toward Regulation of Cannabis
This week, a bipartisan group of House members moved forward with a proposal to federally regulate cannabis similarly to the regulation of alcohol. Written by Reps. Dave Joyce, R-OH, Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, and Brian Mast, R-FL, the PREPARE Act would establish a federal commission to advise Congress on the most effective means of regulating cannabis.
This particular bill would not legalize cannabis. Instead, within a year of passage, the Commission would be required to provide a report to Congress suggesting a system to develop safety standards for the manufacture and sale of cannabis products, with enforcement authority shared with the states. The commission would also be required to generate new policies aimed at repairing damage to low-income, veteran and minority communities, which the proponents of the legislation believe have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition, as well as easing medical researchers’ access to cannabis. The prospects for passage of the Act are unclear. However, the Act appears to be receiving serious consideration, which suggests a movement toward regulation as opposed to prohibition of cannabis.
In a parallel move in the Senate, New York Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAOA). The CAOA would end federal prohibition and criminalization of cannabis. Senator Schumer aims to remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances.
It is unclear how these proposals may impact the regulation of cannabidiols (CBD).