On July 21st, 2022 Senate leadership has introduced a Senate Bill 4591 federal marijuana bill called the Support the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). This legislation is aimed at repealing federal marijuana prohibition policies and additionally repair the harms the prohibition of cannabis has done.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) will remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act schedule entirely, thus ending the threat of federal prosecution for possession and licensed commercial activity. The legislation would allow states to implement their own cannabis policies free of federal interference, but it does not force states like Wisconsin to opt in and we see this as a problem.
The bill will also attempt to eliminate ongoing problems facing regulated state cannabis markets, including lack of access to banking/financial services, the inability to deduct standard business expenses when filing federal taxes, and the lack of uniform national regulatory standards and guidelines. The legislation also controls funding which is intended to be reinvested in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition and the goal is to create diversity and inclusion among licensed operators in regulated cannabis markets.
Many will remember that draft language for this legislation was originally released in June 2021. Over the following year the sponsors incorporated a number of positive revisions suggested by industry stakeholders.
The vast majority of the provisions of this bill align with our goals and values. However, the tax structure it establishes would be detrimental to consumers and burdensome to small businesses. As such, many stakeholders are asking lawmakers to amend the legislation to revise tax rates. In addition, we would like to see a mechanism to trigger action in states like Wisconsin that are resistant to change.
Contacting your Senators and urging them to support this historic legislation is the right thing to do and we made it quick and easy for you by using the form below: