California congressman calls for action from cannabis industry

Freshman Congressman Lou Correa, a Democrat from Southern California, had a simple message for those in the marijuana industry Friday.

“Right now is the time to get involved … Don’t let this golden opportunity pass,” Correa told hundreds of marijuana entrepreneurs at the California Cannabis Business Conference in Anaheim. “This is when all of you have to raise your voices loud and clear throughout the United States and let policymakers know what is really going on when the rubber meets the road.”

Correa urged cannabis executives to contact their members of Congress about the renewal of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which he said could be in danger of expiring in December.

“What happens if … the feds begin to come into the state of California and begin to enforce their law? It could create chaos,” Correa said.

But, he said, there’s a window of opportunity right now.

“I’ll tell you, there are a lot of folks up there that are ready to support you,” Correa said of Congress, adding that more outreach and education is sorely needed from the MJ industry.

Correa also noted another reason for optimism: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a stalwart conservative, recently introduced a pro-medical cannabis research bill with the support of at least two other Republican senators.

“With people like Sen. Orrin Hatch leading the way at the federal level, we can actually make substantial progress,” Correa said.