In a new report released shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing cannabis at the federal level, congressional researchers revealed that the gap between the marijuana policies at state level and those at the federal level was wide — and it was getting wider with each passing year.
The analysis by the Congressional Research Service (“CSR”) was 101 pages long and covered several aspects connected to the marijuana industry in the country. For example, the document points out how the policy schism has affected cannabis banking. The researchers say that because of the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, banks are hesitant to accept cannabis businesses, so many of those companies are compelled to accept only cash and use that cash in all their activities and operations. Because of this, marijuana companies face security risks that businesses in other sectors don’t face; it is also hard for tax collection agencies to track all the finances of marijuana firms.
The researchers also say that the contradiction between state and federal marijuana policies has created challenges for some people to find or retain certain jobs, federal housing or even education support.
Cannabis research is also discussed in the report. The CRS says that the federal classification of marijuana continues to make marijuana research burdensome, and as a result, it isn’t easy to obtain reliable scientific data on the risks or benefits of the marijuana products that members of the public are consuming.
However, the analysis recognizes that some measures are being taken to address the challenges of conducting cannabis research. For instance, the report points out the ending of Mississippi University’s monopoly of producing research-grade marijuana and the draft laws being considered to allow researchers to use cannabis sourced from dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
The report goes on to mention the four options available to Congress with regard to the widening gap between marijuana laws at the state and federal level: Congress can choose to be inactive, authorize the strict implementation of federal marijuana laws, enact modest adjustments allowing states to have robust marijuana markets or pass a policy ending federal marijuana prohibition.
The CRS says additional options exist, such as changing the classification of marijuana to a less strict category, which would avail banking services to the industry and free law enforcement of the oversight role; the report notes that these options should be considered.
To cannabis advocates, the most obvious option would be to end prohibition federally so that the policies at the federal level are in alignment with the wishes of the public as shown by the rate at which different states are opening marijuana markets either through legislative means or through voter initiatives.
Once federal laws are reformed to legalize marijuana, we could see existing state-level players such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) establishing a national footprint while also expanding internationally.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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