2019 could be a big year for marijuana reform in Congress

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marijuana reform, 2019 could be a big year for marijuana reform in Congress

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears in the January issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

The U.S. Congress always has been slow to act, but that’s been especially true for marijuana reform, which has been a stigmatized issue for decades.

As a result, cannabis companies have been waiting and hoping for years that Congress will take action to guarantee banking access to law-abiding marijuana businesses and ease the excessive tax burden from 280E.

Those hopes may actually be realized in 2019.

One of the biggest reasons for encouragement is a bill that many cannabis advocates believe could end up on President Trump’s desk: the STATES (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States) Act , which would formally leave marijuana regulation to the states instead of the federal government.

That single piece of legislation – while far short of what many MJ activists want – would be a “quantum leap” forward, in the words of Cannabis Trade Federation CEO Neal Levine.

Perhaps the foremost factor that could prove the dealmaker for marijuana reform in 2019 is the change in congressional makeup.

“A lot of the things that were stopping us in the past were chairmen in positions of power that just refused to engage at all,” said U.S. Rep. David Joyce, a Republican from Ohio.

To read more about why the cannabis industry has reason to be encouraged about possible reform in 2019, click here.