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U.S. Senate Democrats roll out draft bill to legalize weed

Stock MarketsJul 14, 2021 03:41PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cannabis stickers on a Weed World store window are pictured the day New York State legalized recreational marijuana use amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 31, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo 2/2

(Corrects investment firm name in paragraph 10 to "Beehouse Partners", not "Beehouse partners")

By Arathy S Nair and Shariq Khan

(Reuters) -Three top U.S. Democratic senators on Wednesday unveiled a discussion draft of a bill that aims to legalize cannabis, a move that would allow adult Americans to buy and possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana without facing criminal penalties.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act floated by Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, Finance Chairman Ron Wyden and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, would expunge federal non-violent marijuana crimes, further medical research and allow cannabis companies access to essential financial services.

While adult use of cannabis is legal in 18 states, and allowed medically in 37 states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal law, deterring banks and others from dealing with companies that sell marijuana or related products.

The draft set the minimum age required to buy cannabis at 21 and limited retail sales transactions at the state level to 10 ounces of cannabis at a time or the equivalent amount of any cannabis derivative.

The draft also states that a new definition of cannabis would be established and proposes moving cannabis oversight to the Food and Drug Administration and regulators that overlook alcohol and tobacco, away from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

States will control the possession, production, or distribution of cannabis, the draft says, while shipping marijuana into states that have not legalized it will be prohibited. However, such states can not stop shipments going to other legalized regions through their borders.

Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said "This new bill puts the cart before the horse." He added that marijuana use needs more research.

A final legislative draft will be introduced later and feedback on the discussion draft can be provided until Sept. 1.

To become a law, the measure will have to pass both the Democratic-controlled Senate and House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden.

"It is hard to see how this can pass, but nonetheless it is positive to see progress and momentum," said Greg Heyman, founder of cannabis investment firm Beehouse Partners.

A major cannabis banking reform bill that was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in April has failed to make any progress in the Senate.

"Our main concern over this current legislation (Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act) is around the ability to get it passed in the Senate," private equity firm Poseidon Managing Director Michael Boniello said, adding it may hinder other federal cannabis reforms, including the banking act, from being passed in 2021.

U.S. Senate Democrats roll out draft bill to legalize weed
 

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Comments (15)
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Jul 14, 2021 2:41PM ET
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How about the end drug war and abolish the DEA.
ben sc
ben sc Jul 14, 2021 12:46PM ET
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imagine ppl in congress regulating ganja, then honestly assess if it needs fed intervention. states are doing better than feds, it will only get worse if federally regulated.
tim banks
tim banks Jul 14, 2021 12:46PM ET
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uhh its regulated in that its illegal now.
Gary Crouch
Gary Crouch Jul 14, 2021 12:33PM ET
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Dont raise taxes just tax pot :) leave capitol gains and corp taxes alone
David David
David9 Jul 14, 2021 11:48AM ET
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Forget about ******this and ******that... where is the news that China has vaccinated 1.4B people?...
David David
David9 Jul 14, 2021 11:48AM ET
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if they legalized w e e d, then why the word is even censored?
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Jul 14, 2021 11:19AM ET
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people don't want to return to work because of 300 extra dollars. I am sure they will be motivated to return once they are stoned
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Jul 14, 2021 11:19AM ET
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R*trded there is no more 300 xtra. Only cra*py jobs with prepandemic pay, more xtra hours and weak stability.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 14, 2021 11:07AM ET
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Will Republicans show their authoritarian nature and vote to block this? I bet those auths will.
ben sc
ben sc Jul 14, 2021 11:07AM ET
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exercising the will of their constituents is authoritarian? please check out the Ds history on this, virtually all have opposed this in the past. They're only coming around now to raise revenue to pay for the green new deal. it's not ideals that has changed their view. also check out teen suicide and the rise in mental illnesses by state, its in lock step with ganja legalization.
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Jul 14, 2021 11:07AM ET
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this won't get signed democrats have had a majority plenty of times in the passed and nothing changed lmfao...you still think there's a difference between the two parties lol.
Greek Fire
Greek Fire Jul 14, 2021 11:07AM ET
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Working hard to bring slavery back one day at a time.
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Jul 14, 2021 10:51AM ET
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Lmao, destroy the tobacco industry so you can promote ******
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Jul 14, 2021 10:51AM ET
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no destroy it all. as soon as it's federally legal ***will have all the chemicals and cancer causing *****tobacco does. the elected officials we have need to be wiped clean.
Michael Becker
Becker908 Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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Democrats don't give a rip about "legalizing" weed, they care about taxing it and building a whole new regulatory arm of the feds.  Extending the swamp. California Democrats legalized weed and they are busy regulating it out of existence.  The regulatory cost is so high for growers most of them are selling out the back door to keep their heads above water.  The whole regulation is a complete mess and the tax revenue is pretty much non-existent.  It's so bad that they are talking about spending $100MM to "bail out" growers, for an industry that has been the state's number one cash crop for decades.
tim banks
tim banks Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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California gets 500M a year in tax revenues from ***
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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Someone needs to turnoff their Outrage Media (TM) and go for a nice long walk. Fresh air should calm you.
Michael Becker
Becker908 Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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tim banks  It it's so "profitable" why in the world are they proposing a $100MM bailout?
Michael Becker
Becker908 Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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Benjamin McIntire  No Outrage Media at all, I know people in the business.  The state and county regulators are destroying the small/medium growers and they will regulate everybody but the biggest growers out business because they afford the stupidity.  The same thing regulators do to all businesses.  Big business doesn't care, they can afford it and it kills the competition from small/medium businesses.
tim banks
tim banks Jul 14, 2021 10:11AM ET
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giving back 20% they made in one year to allow an industry to grow doesnt seem like a big deal. probably want to make California the biggest player once its legal nationwide
Elvis Durant
Elvis Durant Jul 14, 2021 9:57AM ET
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Congress been on ****for a while. nothing new here
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Jul 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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The idea of being high responsibly has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard. No doubt conceived by an individual while high.
tim banks
tim banks Jul 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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so ban alcohol then?
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Jul 14, 2021 9:34AM ET
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sounds like maybe you should move to china or saudi arabia
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 14, 2021 9:25AM ET
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I am for legalize everything. If u want to get high, it is ur choice. I have no objection if u high responsibly
Jamie Kent
Jamie Kent Jul 14, 2021 9:25AM ET
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Legalize, as in remove criminal penalties for users....sure; but just letting drugs run rampant is not good for society. Not all drugs are nearly harmless like cannabis, and this needs to be taken into consideration. If someone is regularly using or overdoses on dangerous drugs like opiates, cocaine, meth, and other substances that can kill and/or lead to such strong addiction and inability to hold a job that they turn to robbery and violent crimes to feed their addictions; the legal penalty should be mandatory treatment. So...remove end user penalties, yes; but replace penalties for harmful drugs with mandatory treatment programs and keep penalties in place for illegal distributors. The idea is to help people, not make peoples lives worse....to make the cure less harmful than the disease.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 14, 2021 9:25AM ET
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Jamie Kent nobody is proposing “letting drugs run ranpant” so just calm down
Edward Miller
Edward Miller Jul 14, 2021 9:22AM ET
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Not opposed to legalizing ********but couldn't time be better spent on things like passage of an infrastructure bill or tax reform and a raising of the inheritance tax for the ultra wealthy?
Michael Becker
Becker908 Jul 14, 2021 9:22AM ET
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The "infrastructure" bill is nothing more than a giveaway to state governments and Democrat donors - see all the "green initiatives."  California's infrastructure is a total mess without regard to the highest taxes in the nation on gas - none of which goes for road maintenance, almost of of it goes to funding illegal aliens. Inheritance taxes don't hit the ultra wealthy.  You're not paying attention.  They set up family foundations and pay zip.  Inheritance taxes slaughter families with small and medium sized businesses. So no.  Their time would be better spent going to Cuba to see how things are going down there in the society they adore and have been trying to convert the U.S. into for decades.
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Jul 14, 2021 9:22AM ET
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paying attention? nice way of saying that person is a TV watching ********
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Jul 14, 2021 9:22AM ET
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infratstructure bill lmfao..how about let's talk about abolishing the federal government
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Jul 14, 2021 8:53AM ET
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US lawmakers work hard! All this while China is pumping out more and more PHDs each year.
Michael Becker
Becker908 Jul 14, 2021 8:53AM ET
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We pump out lots of PhDs.  The problem is, Chinese PhDs are scientists - and most of those get them at US universities and steal US research in the process.  US PhDs are in Education and "Studies."
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Jul 14, 2021 8:53AM ET
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Michael Becker  yes, we pump out wrong time of PHDs. But hey! They will be a great ****consumers!
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Jul 14, 2021 8:48AM ET
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Let's keep everybody high, why not just mandate *****use on everybody? So people in power can do anything they want.
Abayomi Segun
Abayomi Segun Jul 14, 2021 7:44AM ET
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good afternoon I m here to trading account
 
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