Last week, a group of state cannabis regulators met with members of Congress and federal officials to discuss the possible effects that national legalization of the plant and other changes in marijuana policy could have on the programs they manage.
The meeting was organized by the Cannabis Regulators Association. The coalition is made up of members whose states have put an end to marijuana prohibition and would be impacted by any federal cannabis actions.
In attendance were the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus Reps. Dave Joyce and Earl Blumenauer, who spoke with staffers from various congressional offices as well as the state regulators. Representatives from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse were also in attendance.
In an interview, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s executive director Andrew Brisbo stated that federal officials were open-minded during the discussion, adding that their main objective for the meeting was to highlight how important it was that state regulators have a position to share their perspectives.
Brisbo also observed that promoting economic and social equity, product testing and labeling were among the issues that they discussed during the meeting. In addition, they also talked about laws to protect banks that cater to state-legal cannabis businesses from incurring penalties from federal regulators. Regulators from the states of Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Illinois, Hawaii, Colorado and California among others also took part in the discussion.
In addition to this, Brisbo stated that they also wanted to make sure that there was consideration for already existing frameworks when federal policies were enacted. He also explained that while some initiatives honored the people’s will and established structures that functioned on the state level, it was important to make sure that the progress made by different states wasn’t overrun by federal policies.
Earlier in the year, the regulators association had penned a letter to congressional leaders who had provided assistance and outlined marijuana policy priorities as legislators consider various reform initiatives that may be advanced during this session.
The priorities included supporting public health initiatives, making certain that there was economic and social equity in legal markets, advancing research on cannabis, offering banking access to state-legal marijuana businesses, and offering protection to states that have legalized cannabis in some form.
At present, the sponsors of a Senate legislation to offer marijuana banking protections are calling for the chairman to put the measure to a vote in Congress.
If such meetings are anything to go by, the entire cannabis industry, including Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE: CHAL) (OTCQB: CHALF), could soon be looking at enabling laws at the federal level that address many of the existing regulatory contradictions.
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