Opinion

Are We Getting Closer to Federal Cannabis Legalization and Greater Clarity on CBD?

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Written by Paul James

After election day, cannabis stocks jumped to around 30% to 40%. Much of this economic excitement was thanks to the fact that four states legalized adult-use cannabis consumption: Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota. With that, about one-third of Americans now have the legal right to consume cannabis.

Unfortunately, we aren’t certain these efforts are going to open up opportunities for federal legalization. At least, not in the near future.

Currently, a bill is circling Capitol Hill known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. If passed, it would make cannabis a decriminalized substance and remove it from Schedule I. Not to mention, it would allow those with previous cannabis charges to begin the process of expungement.

While this wouldn’t legalize cannabis, it would certainly pave the way for legalization.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the MORE Act in December and, given their political leanings, there’s a healthy chance it will pass. From there, it will be taken to the Senate where there’s just as healthy a chance it won’t pass.

This past election season, Republicans won the majority in the Senate again, many of whom are against cannabis legalization. Being the US legal process and the current seats held down in the Senate, it’s extremely unlikely a federal cannabis legalization bill will pass within the next two years. But we shouldn’t give up hope.

Recent polls have revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans think legalizing cannabis is a good idea. And with more and more Americans opening up to the idea, it’s likely the politicians will eventually follow.

For if they want to be voted in again, they’re going to have to listen to what we’re asking for.

In addition to the legal status of cannabis as a whole, the cannabidiol (CBD) industry has also been waiting on guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as additional feedback from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Without knowing if CBD will be treated as a supplement or how evolving policies will impact hemp extraction and processing, the industry stands in limbo, lacking standardizations across the board, most importantly of all, lacking testing standards.

With all this said, it’s likely we’re going to see more states legalize medical and adult-use programs within the next few years and, hopefully, greater advances in CBD policy.

Image Credit: Louis Velazquez

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/XWW746i6WoM

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Paul James

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