Congress Takes Step Forward, Step Back on Marijuana

Congress is still apparently quite divided on how to deal with the marijuana industry and its federal status, as two developments this week underscore.

A bipartisan bill was introduced on Thursday in the Senate to prohibit federal agencies from penalizing banks that work with the marijuana industry – which could be an enormous step towards guaranteeing financial services for cannabis companies.

A day earlier, however, a measure aimed at furthering MMJ research died quietly in the House of Representatives.

The banking bill was introduced by one Republican and three Democrats from Colorado and Oregon, according to Politico. One of those lawmakers – Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a rising GOP star – called the current marijuana banking situation “insane.”

Dubbed the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2015, the measure seems to be a Senate version of a bill introduced in April in the House by Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter. But Perlmutter’s bill was immediately assigned to the Judiciary Committee and has since essentially gone nowhere.

The research proposal, meanwhile, would have rescheduled marijuana so scientists across the country could produce “credible research on (marijuana’s) safety and efficacy as a medical treatment,” according to the Washington Post.

The bill wouldn’t have moved cannabis from Schedule I, per se, but created a new category called “Schedule 1R,” to allow for research to be performed. That in turn could help boost the marijuana industry in general, especially if that research shows the efficacy of medical cannabis.

But House Republicans reportedly killed the effort.

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4 comments on “Congress Takes Step Forward, Step Back on Marijuana
  1. Brian on

    Cannabis products should be reclassified as dietary food supplements: The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) defines dietary supplements as food and not drugs. This is critical to maintaining access to high quality, natural food-supplements.
    The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, defines a dietary supplement as “a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one of more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake.

    • carla kendrick on

      I agree 100% !!! It is a PLANT… There are no chemicals or formulas or additives to create this thing called cannabis! You take a seed or clone ( which came from a seed) and put it in the ground… It grows.. You harvest.. Dry.. And kazaam you have cannabis! It’s that simple folks. We have to change this whole label of it being a Schedule 1 drug… It is a PLANT!

  2. Leslie Robertson on

    Of course they voted for the banking industry, they’ll take a piece of the financial pie. And of course they killed the research. Pharma, tobacco and alcohol know that would be the nail in their coffins. Who’s taking campaign money from those industries? I wonder?! Ridiculous. Researchers are finding so many medical uses for this plant, it’s wonderful. But we’ll have a fight til we make it a constitutional amendment, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is already out there, let’s sue for out right already on the books.

  3. Cheryl on

    It is an herb not a drug. If they want to be hard on something why not try the synthetic junk they try to push on us which is very dangerous (I will pass on that one). I do not feel very free in this country at all.

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