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U.S. Legislators Unveil “Path To Marijuana Reform” At The Federal Level

February 12, 2019

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have formally introduced a package of legislation that would deschedule and regulate cannabis at the federal level.

The legislators’ “Path to Marijuana Reform” is composed of three separate bills: the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act would deschedule cannabis from the government’s list of prohibited substances and regulate it in a way similar to alcohol, while establishing an excise tax scheme that would begin at 10% and ramp up to 25% over five years; the Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act invokes Hamiltonian Federalism to defer to state law and remove federal criminal penalties for cannabis; and The Small Business Tax Equity Act repeals the tax penalty that singles out marijuana businesses and bars them from claiming deductions and tax credits.

Blumenauer is co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” said Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”

Last week, Wyden also introduced the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would extend the reduced tax rates for drinks producers that were passed in 2017 and are scheduled to expire at the end of this year.—Danny Sullivan

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