Seven pro-marijuana bills introduced Thursday in Congress

Seven pro-marijuana industry bills were announced Thursday morning by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers in the House and Senate, suggesting that 2017 may be the year real reform gets through the Capitol.

The sponsors range from longtime marijuana industry allies such as Oregon Democrat U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer to newcomers to the cause such as Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

Three bills were introduced in the Senate, along with four more in the House. In the upper chamber, the point man is Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who is sponsoring all three bills.

One of the measures, which would grant an exception for state-licensed marijuana businesses to the 280E provision of the federal tax code, is also co-sponsored by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul and Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet.

A parallel measure was introduced in the House by Blumenauer and Curbelo. Both measures are called the Small Business Tax Equity Act.

Wyden’s second bill, called the Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act, would guarantee banking access for legal cannabis businesses, grant bankruptcy protection for MJ companies, prohibit the use of civil asset forfeiture tactics by the federal government against legal marijuana businesses and much more, according to a news release.

Wyden’s third measure, dubbed the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances and establish a new federal excise tax on cannabis products, with a top tax rate of 25% of the sale price.

In the House, the four bills being run are all similar – if not identical – versions of the Senate bills, with the Policy Gap Act broken into two different bills, according to sources (draft language was not immediately available Thursday).

Blumenauer and Curbelo are teaming up to reform 280E, while Colorado Democrat Jared Polis is sponsoring the House bill to deschedule cannabis. Blumenauer is also sponsoring the other two bills introduced in the House on Thursday.

A further breakdown of all the pro-cannabis bills introduced so far this year in Congress will be published on next week.

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8 comments on “Seven pro-marijuana bills introduced Thursday in Congress
  1. Edgar Winters on

    Way to lead Oregon, Blumenauer and Wyden our heroes, at work for Oregon and beyond. “Keep up the Good Work” That new federal excise tax on Cannabis products of 25% is a little high, but I bet those legislatures are salivating at the lips on all those taxes for their states, if this proposal does go through in 2017.

  2. jeffrey d.avery on

    i am glad to see rand paul working on the mmj laws,he is one of the few politicians that understand the need and benefits of mmj…rand paul being a doctor gives him credibility in this matter …i’ve always liked kentucky republican rand paul………….jeffrey d. avery

  3. Eric01 on

    Let’s hope the Fed’s leave us medical patients the heck alone, with the opioids being cut off, more patients will resort to heroin as their only relief.

    Cancer is a bitch to deal with. And I’m able to grow right now because of the side effects.

    And I would grow my own to avoid it anyway. Hey Uncle, enjoy paying for my cancer treatments, glad I will still have health insurance!

  4. John Girard MD on

    I am happy to see progress on marijuana reforms. I hope House Representative Curbelo can pioneer reform to the present Florida cartel monopoly. Allow some average Floridians to capitalize on the Cannabiz.
    I accept my nomination to represent Florida physicians and a significant role (owner) in the cannabis business in Florida.

  5. Yvonne Forsman on

    This is beyond ridiculous, all these bills and all those politicians and all meetings and all hours spent on it, just legalize the thing, for God’s sake! And also industrial hemp which has 25,000 uses! I am tired of all the hypocrites, the gov having a patent, stuff like that, they all lie and cheat and let us suffer! Here in FL they use pesticides to grow cannabis! Pesticides cause cancer!!! I can live with my chronic disease/pain but cancer would kill me! How come Colorado and Illinois can grow organic but Florida doesn’t? It’s corruption!!! Now that NJ governor Chris Christie got a job from Trump to stop use of hard drugs, let’s see how many of those rich ppl and politicians profiting from drugs getting from overseas into the US, end up in prison! My guess is: zero, nada, none, nobody, not a soul! It will be business as usual! Christie will accomplish nothing!

  6. johnhankinson on

    I have to keep reminding people that marijuana has been feudalized not legalized. As long as employers can still discriminate against tokers through random and pre-employment drug testing for marijuana, it is not true legalization. Also it would be good business.

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