Top marijuana executives to push for federal reform in DC meetings

More than 20 cannabis industry CEOs are scheduled to meet with congressional members and staffers in Washington DC this week to urge immediate action on marijuana banking reform and expungement of MJ convictions.

The event is organized by the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC), which launched only last year but already has become one of the industry’s biggest lobbying organizations.

USCC officials said the group also will be urging support in meetings on Wednesday and Thursday for Section 280E tax relief and comprehensive marijuana reform. About 60 meetings have been scheduled with Democrats and Republicans from both chambers.

Section 280E is the provision in the U.S. tax code that prevents marijuana firms from taking ordinary business deductions because the plant is still classified federally as a Schedule 1 drug.

The executives also will be preparing for expected congressional hearings later this year on two comprehensive marijuana bills: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act and U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace’s States Reform Act.

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Schumer’s measure, also led by Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon, is expected to be introduced in April.

According to the USCC, the cannabis industry officials in DC this week include top executives from U.S. companies Acreage Holdings, Curaleaf Holdings, Greenlane Holdings, Holistic Industries, Houseplant, LivWell Enlightened Health, PharmaCann, Standard Wellness, Vicente Sederberg, and Weedmaps as well as Canadian producers Canopy Growth Corp. and Cronos Group.