Federal medical cannabis protections extended another week

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Congress approved a short-term spending bill Friday that will also extend the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment through at least May 5 – meaning state medical marijuana laws and businesses will remain protected from any crackdown by the Department of Justice for at least another week.

The bill, HJ Res. 99, essentially keeps the previous year’s U.S. budget in place for another seven days to give federal lawmakers time to reach yet another deal on what will be included in a new omnibus spending bill.

A congressional staffer confirmed to Marijuana Business Daily that the bill’s approval keeps Rohrabacher-Farr in place for now. The amendment prohibits the DOJ from using federal money to interfere with state MMJ laws.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, one of the founders of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus did not immediately respond to requests for comment, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily, “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this provision remains law.”

Other members have expressed confidence in recent months that either the amendment’s language will be included in the base appropriations bill or be amended into whatever spending measure is ultimately approved.

The amendment’s language does not extend to recreational marijuana laws or businesses, which both remain vulnerable to interference by the DOJ.