How the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act Could Move the Cannabis Industry Forward
A flurry of legislative activities in Q1 of 2017 ended with a coordinated, bi-partisan effort to effectively end federal prohibition of cannabis.
The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act (MRRA) includes powerful provisions that would turn the tide for the cannabis industry. In 2015, the predecessor amendment failed in the House (222-206). With the revenue successes from states that have legalized, the additional states moving towards legalization of cannabis, and the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, the time is ripe for another vote. US Representative Polis, D-Colorado, is confident this time they have the votes needed to pass the amendment.
Here are the highlights from the MMRA:
- Decriminalizes cannabis and THC products at the federal level by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act schedules
- Removes marijuana oversight from the DEA and place it under the BATFE
- Inserts cannabis into the US Code that regulates alcohol (“intoxicating liquors”)
- Establishes a permit system overseen by the Treasury Department that allows the Treasuring to impose annual fees on licensed commercial marijuana producers in an amount sufficient to offset the cost of federal oversight
- Establishes advertising standards
Several agencies took part in the re-crafting of the 2015 amendment, repacking it to cover all areas critical to move cannabis out of its current gray-area status between states that have legalized it and the federal law which prohibits it.
SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht was quoted in Forbes last week stating, “The current administration has made it very clear they would like to empower the states and Trump has even stated his belief in how medical marijuana can help people. We believe the administration will stick to their word on empowering the states. In Phoenix we have many medical shops, none of which have relayed to us that they are being impacted yet by the administration.” He continued, “The biggest impact the current administration can have in favor of cannabis in the near term would be to give guidelines on how this business can be banked.”
The MMRA would quash the state-federal deadlock and enable cannabusinesses to finally transact their businesses, as millions of other businesses can, through banking and taxes. States and the federal government would also be able to tap into much-needed revenues.