WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) today applauded the re-introduction of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) were the lead sponsors.
The STATES Act would end the significant and ongoing conflict between federal and state cannabis laws, which causes disproportionate harm to individuals acting in compliance with state law where cannabis is legal. The bills, which are being introduced with an equal number of Republican and Democratic original cosponsors, ensure the federal government will not interfere in any state’s cannabis industry regulatory structure, the legal cannabis businesses operating within that regulatory structure, or the cannabis consumers utilizing those businesses and state-legal cannabis markets.
“The conflict between federal and state cannabis laws has become untenable and must end,” said CTF CEO Neal Levine. “The STATES Act is a bipartisan bill with real world impact. It would immediately improve public safety and the local economies within the states in which the cannabis industry operates. Simultaneously, it would protect the freedom and livelihood of the hundreds of thousands of Americans working in the legal cannabis industry today.”
Medical cannabis is legal in 33 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while adult use of cannabis is legal in 10 of those states, along with D.C. and Guam. The STATES Act reflects the will of American voters, tens of millions of whom have enacted medical and adult-use cannabis laws nationwide. In response to a Quinnipiac survey last year that asked respondents whether they would “support or oppose a bill protecting states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana from federal prosecution,” nearly three-quarters (74%) said that they would support such legislation.
The bill would also create better opportunities for banking services in the cannabis industry by making the activities of state-compliant operators legal and, therefore, exempt from money laundering statutes.
“The members of the Cannabis Trade Federation appreciate the leadership of Senator Gardner, Senator Warren, Rep. Blumenauer, Rep. Joyce, and the additional cosponsors of this important and long overdue legislation,” continued Levine. “The STATES Act represents a chance for elected officials to demonstrate that they can reach across the aisle to achieve progress, while moving us much further down the path of ending the disastrous policy of cannabis prohibition.”