Schumer Introduces Legislation “Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act” … Everybody Has An Opinion

OK… here we go again.

Happy reading

First here’s the story.

The bill is called

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act and comes in at a hefty 163PP





Now. What do all the commentators think.

As always we suggest starting with Marijuana Moment for some concise reporting and analysis

Here Are The Full Details Of The New Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill From Chuck Schumer And Senate Colleagues


MJ Biz say..


Here’s NCIA’s statement


Senate Leadership Releases Draft Legislation to Make Cannabis Federally Legal

Bill would remove cannabis from schedule of controlled substances, establish federal regulatory framework, protect state autonomy, and help repair harms caused by prohibition

Legislation opens doors for cannabis policy reform in the current Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), released draft legislation today that would remove cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances while allowing states to determine their own cannabis policies. The proposed plan would also establish a regulatory framework for state-legal cannabis businesses, expunge non-violent cannabis convictions, and create programs to support small and minority-owned cannabis businesses while reinvesting resources in the communities that have been disproportionately harmed by prohibition.

You can find a summary here and the full draft language here.

The Senate sponsors held a press conference on the draft bill today which can be viewed here.

“As Majority Leader Schumer noted today, this is a momentous occasion. This is the first time that the leadership of the upper chamber has championed a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition, and the fact that it is being done in such a thoughtful and proactive manner, engages stakeholders, and includes robust social justice and regulatory language is revolutionary,” said Aaron Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “Given the political environment in the Senate right now, our focus will be to explore ways to potentially improve the bill and gain Republican votes – particularly from those lawmakers representing states where cannabis is legal in some form – while we shore up Democratic support. This draft legislation is a great vehicle to jumpstart these conversations and find common ground across the political spectrum.”

At the press conference announcing the draft legislation, Sen. Booker noted that he would oppose any consideration of incremental measures that would provide safe harbor for financial institutions to offer services and loans to cannabis businesses prior to the passage of a more comprehensive legalization bill.

“We absolutely share Sen. Booker’s desire to enact comprehensive reform as soon as possible, but we also recognize – as do the sponsors of this legislation – that the status quo disproportionately hurts marginalized communities and small businesses, and that getting the bipartisan support necessary for passage in the current term is far from certain,” continued Smith. “Closing the door on broadly supported incremental reforms like the SAFE Banking Act while the Senate seeks compromise on farther-reaching bills hurts the possibilities for consensus and ignores the very real needs of small business operators who have repeatedly said that access to banking services and traditional lending is an existential issue. Big companies already have access to these services, and delaying that same access for small businesses would not further the goal of fostering a more diverse and inclusive industry. These efforts are not mutually exclusive, and history has shown that when it comes to cannabis, every step in the right direction builds momentum for bigger and better reforms at the state and national level.”

A recent study by The Initiative reported that access to capital was the top concern of social equity cannabis operators.

Laws making cannabis legal and regulated for adults have been passed in 19 states as well as the District of Columbia and the territories of CNMI and Guam, and 36 states as well as several territories have comprehensive medical cannabis laws. The substance is legal in some form in 47 states.
NORML want your feedback


July 14, 2021 Friends,

Today, we are saying, “The days of federal prohibition are numbered.” That’s because for the first time in American history, the Senate Majority Leader — alongside longtime cannabis reform champions Cory Booker and Ron Wyden — has introduced legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.

This long-awaited proposal is comprehensive and includes many of the criminal justice reforms provided in the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed the House of Representatives last December, and provides ample deference to the laws already in place in the majority of states that have already legalized marijuana for either medical or adult use.

Public comment will be solicited through September 1st and as we prepare our response, we need to hear from you!



Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill Unveiled by Sen. Schumer


Marijuana Times

An End to Cannabis Banking Woes?

Cannabis banking has been a tricky topic to tackle in recent years. Although many financial institutions refuse to do business with the high-risk industry, the truth, according to Ryan Hale, co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Operational Security Solutions (OSS), is that “cannabis banking has been allowed since February 2014.” That was when the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, published their guidance on how credit unions and state-chartered banks could work with the emerging industry.

More at


News Release – 7/14/21

Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced TODAY in US Senate; Historic Bill is Backed by Schumer, Booker, Wyden


Today is a historic day in the fight for nationwide cannabis legalization here in the US!  As of this morning, Senate leadership has introduced a bill for comprehensive cannabis legalization across the country.

Most importantly, the sponsors of the legislation are asking for input from the public between now and September.

Here’s more from Sen. Wyden’s office:

For Immediate Release
Date: July 14, 2021


Majority Leader Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden And Senator Booker Release Discussion Draft Of Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act, Legislation To End The Federal Cannabis Prohibition And Unfair Targeting Of Communities Of Color 


The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act Would Remove Cannabis From The Federal List Of Controlled Substances, Empower States To Implement Own Cannabis Laws, And End Decades Of Harm To Communities Of Color


Senators Aim To Lift Up Communities That Were Unfairly Targeted In The War On Drugs With Legislation To Ensure Americans Cannot Be Arrested, Barred From Public Housing Or Financial Aid For Using Cannabis Where It’s Legal


 Schumer, Wyden And Booker: Cannabis Reform Legislation Will Expand Economic Opportunity And Help Turn The Page On Decades Of Discriminatory Practices


Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act: Text Can Be Found HERE, One Pager Can Be Found HERE, Detailed Summary Can Be Found HERE.

Washington, D.C.—
 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) today released a discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, proposed legislation that would help put an end to the unfair targeting and treatment of communities of color by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and empowering states to implement their own cannabis laws.

Ending the federal prohibition on cannabis is becoming increasingly urgent as more and more states continue to legalize adult and medical use of cannabis. Despite the fact that cannabis is illegal under federal law, the majority of Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal in one form or another and more than 90 percent of Americans believe it should be legalized for either adult or medical use.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would ensure that Americans in all communities will not be arrested or barred from receiving essential services for using cannabis where it is legal. This proposal would also ensure state-compliant cannabis businesses will be able to access the essential financial services and will preserve the integrity of state cannabis laws while providing a path for federal regulation.

Importantly, this legislative proposal goes a step beyond legalizing cannabis by expunging federal non-violent marijuana crimes and allowing individuals currently serving time in federal prison for non-violent marijuana crimes to petition a court for resentencing. It will also establish a fund to reinvest in the communities that were hurt by the War on Drugs and provide restorative justice to communities of color.

Senators Booker, Wyden, and Schumer thank Senator Murray and her HELP Committee staff for their work in developing the Food and Drug Administration and public health components of the Discussion Draft.

“I am proud to introduce our discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a legislative proposal aimed at finally putting an end to the federal prohibition of cannabis and addressing the over-criminalization of cannabis in a comprehensive and meaningful way,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “The War on Drugs has too often been a war on people, and particularly people of color. Not only will this legislation remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, but it will also help fix our criminal justice system, ensure restorative justice, protect public health, and implement responsible taxes and regulations.”

“Cannabis prohibition, a key pillar of the failed War on Drugs, has caused substantial harm to our communities and small businesses, and especially for communities of color,” saidSenate Finance Committee Chair Wyden. “It’s as simple as this: Senators Booker, Schumer and I want to bring common sense to the federal government, end prohibition and restore the lives of those hurt most and set them up for opportunity.”

“For decades, our federal government has waged a War on Drugs that has unfairly impacted low-income communities and communities of color,” said Senator Booker. “While red and blue states across the country continue to legalize marijuana, the federal government continues to lag woefully behind. It is time for Congress to end the federal marijuana prohibition and reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs. I am proud to introduce this landmark piece of legislation with Senator Wyden and Majority Leader Schumer that will finally turn the page on this dark chapter in American history and begin righting these wrongs.”

The text of the discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act can be found HERE, a one pager can be found HERE and a detailed summary can be found HERE.

Summary of the discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act:

The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act aims to end the decades of harm inflicted on communities of color by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and empowering states to implement their own cannabis laws.

Federal cannabis reforms are especially urgent as more and more states legalize the adult and medical use of cannabis. To date, the adult use of cannabis is legal in 18 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam; and 37 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have advanced laws to allow medical cannabis, with nearly all Americans living in a state where some form of cannabis is legal. These changes represent a dynamic shift in public opinion and support across the political spectrum. Today, more than 90 percent of Americans believe cannabis should be legal either for adult or medical use. Despite legalization under state law and broad public support for cannabis legalization, cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

By ending the failed federal prohibition of cannabis, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act will ensure that Americans – especially Black and Brown Americans – no longer have to fear arrest or be barred from public housing or federal financial aid for higher education for using cannabis in states where it’s legal. State-compliant cannabis businesses will finally be treated like other businesses and allowed access to essential financial services, like bank accounts and loans. Medical research will no longer be stifled.

But this alone is not enough. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act includes restorative measures to lift up people and communities who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs. The bill automatically expunges federal non-violent marijuana crimes and allows an individual currently serving time in federal prison for non-violent marijuana crimes to petition a court for resentencing.

The legislation also creates an “Opportunity Trust Fund” funded by federal cannabis tax revenue to reinvest in the communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs, as well as helping to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color who continue to face barriers of access to the industry. Importantly, the legislation also ends discrimination in federal public benefits for medical marijuana patients and adult use consumers. The legislation preserves the integrity of state cannabis laws and provides a path for responsible federal regulation of the cannabis industry. Like with federal regulations on alcohol, states can determine their own cannabis laws, but federal prohibition will no longer be an obstacle. Regulatory responsibility will be moved from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect public health. Additionally, revenue generated by federal taxes will support restorative justice and public health and safety research.

U.S. Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., (collectively referred to in this document as the “Sponsoring Offices”) are committed to turning the page on this sad chapter in American history and undoing the devastating consequences of current discriminatory cannabis policies. As such, they are seeking feedback from the public as they finalize their proposal. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act discussion draft is a detailed legislative proposal meant to spur a robust discussion among stakeholders in order to inform the Sponsoring Offices as they work to craft a final legislative proposal. The Sponsoring Offices request comments from stakeholders and members of the public, including social and criminal justice advocates, industry stakeholders, members of the public health and law enforcement communities, members of Congress, federal officials, state and local officials, and others for review and comment.


ORCA will continue monitoring this legislation as it proceeds through the legislative process, and will continue to keep our members aware of what we can expect from this bill moving forward.

We will also be submitting public comments on behalf of our association, and we would encourage individual business owners to do the same.  Stay tuned!


Also in Marijuana Moment

Cory Booker Vows To Block Marijuana Banking Until Senate Passes Comprehensive Legalization

Cory Booker Vows To Block Marijuana Banking Until Senate Passes Comprehensive Legalization