The world of Oklahoma medical marijuana continues to change at a quick pace. With that said, we are also seeing changes finally start to materialize at the federal level which may lead to a more reasonable approach to cannabis from the federal government.
Today in The Peak cannabis dispensary blog, we will be looking at the variety of different legislative options which have been introduced to Congress during the first half of the legislative session. This includes bills which range in how severely they would work to repeal federal cannabis prohibition ranging from complete repeal to cannabis prohibition own to simply allowing state-sanctioned cannabis operations access to proper banking channels.
With that in mind, as an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary, here at The Peak we are absolutely thrilled to see so much progress being made with cannabis at the federal level. The hemp plant was opened up federally to be farmed with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. This was a small step in the right direction for the legalization of cannabis as the hemp plant can be cultivated without the psychoactive component commonly found within Oklahoma medical marijuana, THC.
With that said, let us dive right in and take a look at the pending federal laws which may impact the growing Oklahoma medical marijuana market.
While many of the bills within this list will cover the topic of decriminalization, we felt as an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary, we could explain what this term means exactly. The decriminalization of cannabis would be a step between prohibition where users are arrested for possessing the drug and legalization such as what we have seen with Oklahoma medical marijuana. This has been done on a local level across the country prior to the legalization of the plant started to become more popular at the state level.
When we talk about federal decriminalization or rescheduling of cannabis, it is a similar concept by the federal government. When the federal government decriminalized cannabis though, it will empower states to set their own cannabis policies. Through this process, programs like the Oklahoma medical marijuana program would become instantly legitimate. This is an exciting prospect we are hoping to see someday soon as it would make operations at The Peak far easier through a variety of different means.
Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act has been introduced to congress and would establish a new norm for the cannabis plant through the decriminalization of cannabis. The bill was introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer through the judiciary committee in Congress. We start to look at this bill first because as an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary it would have a big impact on The Peak and the patients that we help. Luckily, this impact is a positive one!
The inclusive bill would include rule changes which would deschedule marijuana and transfer the regulating agency away from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) into the control of the Department of Treasury. The Department of Treasury will regulate cannabis advertising as they do with tobacco to keep the products out of the hands of children. Furthermore, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act will incentivize expungement programs which help to alleviate the trouble caused by the war on cannabis. Finally, the bill would redirect profits from legally operating cannabis companies through the impacted communities and businesses which were most impacted by the war on drugs, including minority and female entrepreneurs.
Implement Proper Banking Solutions for Cannabis Businesses
The SAFE Banking Act is another piece of legislation which has been introduced specifically to help tackle the problem that cannabis companies face with accessing traditional banking solutions. To this point, many cannabis businesses cannot get traditional access to banking services which lead to higher levels of overhead for these businesses to contend with. This can also translate into a fewer number of IRS deductions which an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary can qualify for. All of which would benefit both stores like The Peak and the patients that we serve since an Oklahoma medical marijuana could finally accept all normal forms of payments.
Other Cannabis-Related Legislative Bills
- STATES Act
- According to the bill’s Wikipedia page, “STATES Act. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, S.3032, was a bill proposed in the 115th United States Congress that would recognize legalization of cannabis and the U.S. state laws that have legalized it through their legislatures or citizen initiative.” This would empower state initiatives such as the Oklahoma medical marijuana bill passed unanimously by popular vote. With an appropriate name for the bill which focuses on the empowerment of states with operational medical marijuana programs.
- FY2020 Spending Bill Rider
- According to Forbes, the 119th Congress may be the most favorable group of legislators towards the issue of medical marijuana and cannabis. This particular rider or addition to the 2020 Spending bill empowered the City of Washington D.C. to implement their medical marijuana laws. This successful addition to a funding bill which directly impacts the medical marijuana patients of D.C. has already been passed this year and is something all patients across the country should celebrate!
- Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement Act
- According to NORML, this bill would remove cannabis from schedule 1 status. Furthermore, the bill will allow states to implement their own medical marijuana or legalization of cannabis laws. This would empower legislation such as that passed here in the Sooner state to legalize the use of Oklahoma medical marijuana.
- Marijuana Justice Act
- According to Marijuana Moment, the bill has been reintroduced to remove cannabis from the controlled substance act. The bill’s author, Cory Booker discussed the bill by stating, “ I’m reintroducing the Marijuana Justice Act – my bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level, expunge records, and reinvest in the communities that have been hurt from the war on drugs.” It should be exciting to watch how the future and potential presidential candidates handle cannabis over the next 18 months heading towards the election, hopefully bringing both parties closer to a point of passing legislation like this to benefit medical marijuana patients.
- Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act
- Finally, another comprehensive bill which could completely change the way cannabis is regulated at the federal level. This bill has been introduced to the legislative session multiple times in the past. Interestingly the bill proposes, removing cannabis from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s responsibility and transferring it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The simple act of ending federal cannabis prohibition would have a wonderful ripple effect on all the states with programs such as the one here with Oklahoma medical marijuana. It would seem too that the day is getting closer to where a point of legalization will be possible.
In closing, we at The Peak are thrilled to see the pretty steady progression towards federal decriminalization for the legalization of cannabis in any form. We believe that this will happen eventually in good time, especially as you see more States join and implement similar programs to the Oklahoma medical marijuana program. Hopefully, it is sooner than later, as highlighted above it could make the experience of selling and buying cannabis far more of a norm compared to even the wonderful status it’s at now with Oklahoma medical marijuana.
Furthermore, as an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary, We Believe medical marijuana patients and be guaranteed access to their medicine. Luckily we were seeing this start to become the new norm. With that said, you’re thrilled to be able to serve Oklahoma medical marijuana patients that we do need different Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary locations.