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Schumer Plans To File Federal Legalization in April, SAFE Banking Passes House Again

February 8, 2022

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a press conference late last week in which he announced plans to file his legislation for federal cannabis legalization in April. First announced last July, the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act would fully remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and transfer authority over it from the DEA to the FDA, with taxes administered by the TTB in a scheme “generally following similar agency responsibilities established for alcohol and tobacco,” according to the official summary.

Schumer, along with Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, unveiled the bill last summer in order to circulate it and solicit feedback for incorporation into the final text. That feedback seems to have made it into the bill, as Schumer said on Friday. “Right now, we’re taking those comments and reaching out to Democratic and Republican senators,” Schumer said, adding that “we have some Republican support. If any senators have other ideas that they want to add to the bill, as long as it keeps social and economic justice as the spearhead, we’re happy and willing to listen,” he said.

Also on Friday, the House of Representatives passed the multibillion-dollar America COMPETES Act of 2022, a bill concerning competition with China and semiconductor manufacturing, which is notable here because it also contained the SAFE Banking Act. The development echoes SAFE Banking’s inclusion in the defense spending bill that the House passed last year before it was stripped from the Senate version. The Senate has already passed its version of the competition bill, so SAFE Banking’s fate will be decided by the reconciliation committee that will resolve the differences between the two bills.

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