Politicians at both the state and federal levels made headlines in the cannabis industry this week by proposing and advancing bills that seek to improve and stabilize markets. Here is a roundup on those stories, and more.
Federal: House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has agreed to co-sponsor Rep. Matt Gaetz’s bipartisan bill to make medical marijuana research easier. The backing bolsters the Medical Cannabis Research Act’s chances in the House. Read more
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner announced plans to introduce a bill with Sen. Elizabeth Warren that would legitimize state-regulated cannabis industry, potentially opening up banking and a host of other legal protections for state-licensed businesses. Gardner said he hopes this will be a breakthrough on everything from the threat of federal prosecutions to marijuana banking to IRS tax deductions problems. Read more
California: A California bill that proposes lowering the state’s cannabis excise tax from 15 to 11 percent passed the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation with bipartisan support. The bill is aimed at reducing the price disparity between legal cannabis businesses and illicit market sources, and now heads to the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions. Read more
A second state Senate committee approved a bill that would make it easier for California cannabis businesses to access banking. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), would allow the creation of a special class of state-chartered banks and credit unions, regulated by the Department of Business Oversight, that could process deposits, withdrawals and other financial transactions by licensed cannabis merchants. Read more
Michigan: The Michigan State Board of Canvassers certified that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has enough signatures to place an initiative that would make marijuana legal and regulated for adults on the state’s November ballot. If approved by voters, Michigan would become