First Marijuana Reform Bill of 2021 to hit the House Floor

It is not everything, but it is a start.  Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) this week introduced the first marijuana reform bill to the new 117th Congress.  The bill would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Rep. Steube has in the past argued that by rescheduling marijuana from a schedule I controlled substance to a schedule III-controlled substance will allow for more opportunities for research and study on the plant and its impact on, if any, different entities of the population.

A similar bill was introduced and cleared the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020 but died in the GOP- controlled Senate.  The difference this year is that the Democrats have control of both the House and Senate which means it has a better chance of landing on the President’s desk.

President Biden is not in favor of legalizing marijuana on the federal level but, has said his administration will pursue marijuana decriminalization and reducing prison populations and removing prior cannabis convictions from some records. He also favors medical cannabis legalization, is in favor of rescheduling marijuana under federal law and letting states set their own policies without federal intervention.

Vice President Harris had been in favor of legalizing marijuana on the federal level while running of president, but since joining the Biden ticket, her stance has been in line with President Biden’s.

If the Bill is approved, it will ease the restrictions associated with a Schedule I controlled substance.  

  • As a Schedule III controlled substance cannabis companies will now be allowed to deduct business expenses on their taxes.
  • It will protect federal employees who use cannabis.  As a schedule I drug, marijuana is illegal under federal law, regardless of state law. All federal employees must comply with federal law or suffer job consequences. 
  • As Rep. Steube agrues, scientific research for a schedule I controlled substance will have less hurdles to overcome in getting approval. 
  • It will ease the restrictions on publishers as far as the U.S. Postal Service is concerned.  Currently it is illegal mail any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, with advertisements for the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.

If the rescheduling Bill is passed, it is a start.  Many would like to see the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) totally removed.  But that will take time.  Another positive legislation for the cannabis industry should be coming sometime this year and that is access to banking.  With the Democrats in control, it has a higher 😊 chance of passing.

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