Sept. 1 marked the deadline for public comment on the preliminary draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) and industry stakeholders made sure their voices were heard.
“You’re seeing a lot of comments, which is good, trying to protect people on both sides of interests,” Adam Fayne, partner and co-chair of the cannabis practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary. “I think everyone is behind social reformation and all the causes around expungement and decriminalization and so forth. I don’t think there’s any issue with that. I think people just have different ideas on the best path to get there.”
The U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) submitted similar feedback on the draft legislation, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, tax and regulate cannabis at the federal level, and allow states to keep or administer their own oversight programs.
“Certainly, what’s working well overall is that we have, for the first time, a comprehensive cannabis reform bill introduced in Congress that tackles the hard part, which is the regulatory structure and everything else that comes with the industry,” USCC CEO Steve Hawkins said. “That is really the good news and it’s encouraging that [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer put this bill out.”
“We support ending federal prohibition as soon as possible,” added MPP State Policies Director Karen O’Keefe. “We’re enthusiastic that [the CAOA] includes re-sentencing [and] expungement, that it completely legalizes up to 10 pounds of cannabis under federal law, … and that it has some community reinvestment. But there are a number of things that we think are important to change