Congress Considers 3 Bills That Could Decriminalize Cannabis

Making their way through Congress are three bills focused on the decriminalization or legalization of cannabis. If passed, these bills will have a significant impact on the cannabis industry, businesses and consumers.

1. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA)

This is the latest iteration of legislation that proposes ending the federal prohibition of cannabis. The bill works by shifting some of the primary agency jurisdiction away from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A recent discussion draft states that the bill’s objective is to “preserve the integrity of state cannabis laws by providing a path for responsible federal regulation of the cannabis industry.” If passed, the bill would allow individual states to determine their own cannabis laws, which would permit products to be regulated in a way that is similar to that of alcohol and tobacco. Other key initiatives of the bill include more robust cannabis research, the development of restorative justice and opportunity programs, and initiatives to encourage small business development.

“Considered a historic and ambitious bill, the CAOA is aimed to implement a full-scale federal scheme for cannabis reform that reaches beyond just decriminalization. It hopes to provide restorative measures to lift up people and communities who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs.” Source: The National Law Review

2. The States Reform Act

This act is primarily aimed at removing cannabis from the Schedule 1 list and to maintaining every state’s rights to determine its level of reform. According to a press release, the bill is meant to keep Americans safe while ending federal interference with state cannabis laws. The bill also supports veterans, law enforcement personnel, farmers, businesses, criminal justice reform advocates, and those with serious illnesses.

Other provisions of the bill include increasing opportunities for more international trade as well as better technology, and the request for federal laws to refrain from using the term marijuana and only use the term cannabis.

3. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act

This removes cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act. The main objective of the act is to provide the means for addressing decades of problems caused by prohibition and enabling restorative justice.

According to Cannabis Tech, the bill, if passed, will end federal criminalization of cannabis and provide the automatic expungement of cannabis arrests, charges and convictions. Other measures include establishing an Office of Cannabis Justice, protecting consumers of cannabis from discrimination, and improving research, banking and tax law reform.

As the push for the federal legalization of cannabis continues, we’ve made it our goal to ensure that the right insurance products are made available to all cannabis operators. If you’re a cannabis business owner in need of insurance and not sure where to start, contact the experts at Oakwood D&O. Our dedicated and knowledgeable professionals can help you secure the coverage you need at an affordable price.

Get in touch – email Eli Solomon, CEO, at or call (323) 686-7519.

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