Marijuana business is one of the most important topics on the mind of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), who spoke up about his views on cannabis on Wednesday.
The conversation took place last week at an online event, hosted by the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) and Leafly, focused on the cannabis workforce.
According to its website, “Leafly is the world’s online destination to learn about cannabis, find cannabis strains and products, and buy them from legal, licensed retailers. More than 100 million people visit us each year because of our proven commitment to education and science-based information.”
The event was hosted to share Leafly’s latest ‘Cannabis Jobs Count: the 2021 Leafly Jobs Report’, and Senator Wyden, a stalwart supporter of hemp and marijuana business, was in attendance along with other federal staff and cannabis activists.
“Oregon’s cannabis industry is a robust contributor to the state’s economy, and I am certain that the industry could have a positive impact nationwide. I am working with colleagues in the U.S. Senate to end cannabis prohibition in a manner that not only supports this flourishing industry but also restores the lives of those most hurt by the failing War on Drugs.” said Wyden.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), have been working with Wyden to round out an all-encompassing federal legalization policy. The three have been working for months, and all those interested in cannabis legalization have been following closely as they prepare to introduce legislation to do away with cannabis prohibition.
Wyden shared thoughts that he and his colleagues have referenced before—the chance for the federal government to address racial divides in the criminal justice system. Although details have yet to be shared, the three legislators state that finding ways to ensure social justice goals are reached with special regard to marginalized populations.
An important topic to note that comes directly from Leafly’s report is that the federal government is unable to count marjuana workers in labor statistics. This is discounting 321,000 employed citizens across the US. Senator Wyden agrees with Leafly that the potential for growth in job creation and economic stimulus would be a major benefit to Americans.
Issues with the federal government not recognizing marijuana as a legitimate business industry are the restrictions in place for state-approved businesses. Specifically, the challenges with banking institutions and marijuana dollars, and discrimination in tax deductions and credits.
Wyden, Shumer, and Booker are working diligently, and although they will admit there is progress being made, they are keeping their cards close to their chest about any expected dates for formal filing.
A few of the things we do know include:
-the proposal will stop large companies from dominating the industry
-there will be priority given to small business, particularly those owned by communities directly impacted by the war on drugs
-consideration for medical uses will be a vital piece of the legislation
-economic impact will be a driving force in the proposal planning
With support from inside both the Senate and the House, and dozens of states who have legalized marijuana paving the way, a federal seal of approval on cannabis seems more realistic than ever before. Stay tuned as we follow the progress on national weed legalization.
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