In advance of next month’s Democratic National Convention, a joint Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders task force recommended rescheduling cannabis on a federal basis, legalizing medical cannabis nationwide, and allowing states to decide recreational cannabis policy.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to attach language that would allow federally funded cannabis and cannabinoid research to a large-scale defense spending bill that will reach the Senate floor this week. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the amendment, which would promote studies of cannabis and its derivatives, provide protections for doctors that discuss cannabis with their patients, and encourage the development of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs based on cannabinoids.
Cannabis tax revenues exceeded Illinois projections by almost $25 million. This is welcome news for Illinois lawmakers and residents alike, as the state finished the year with general fund revenues $1.1 billion less than the previous fiscal year ended June 30th.
As local pressure for tax revenues increases, enforcement actions against illegal operators are on the rise. In a move widely lauded by the legal cannabis industry, the Cannabis Department of Tax and Administration initiated legal action against 12 illicit dispensaries across Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties by serving tax warrants, seizing $100,000 in cash, and destroying over $1 million in illegal cannabis products.
Many Americans on both sides of the political spectrum see the benefit of legalizing cannabis. Local governments are in need of tax revenues and jobs, and the cannabis industry has the potential to supply both.