Schumer’s cannabis legalization bill will target aspiring entrepreneurs, as opposed to “big boy” industry players

Schumer’s cannabis legalization bill will target aspiring entrepreneurs, as opposed to “big boy” industry players

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Back in July, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed a 163-page draft edition of his federal cannabis legalization bill. 

Moving forwards, the New York-based Democratic politician remains confident that his proposed measure The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act will be approved and enacted by lawmakers.

The legislation, which somewhat replicates New York’s adult-use cannabis legalization measure, is designed to provide golden opportunities to small business owners and minority groups, rather than prioritizing the “big boys.”

“We don’t want the big boys to come in after all the pain (incurred in communities during the war on drugs)  and make all the money. Makes no sense,” said Schumer during a recent interview with the state’s Cannabis Control Board chair, Tremaine Wright.

Schumer’s proposed Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

“The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act” was first introduced on July 14, 2021, with the intention of ensuring that small-scale businesses and businesses owned by people of color gain an equal chance of accessing financial services for their cannabis-focused endeavors.

In order to prepare the legalization measure, Schumer collaborated with Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Schumer’s federal cannabis legalization Act also strives to reverse the decades of unjustness and economical devastation experienced among communities of color by banishing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and prompting states to put their own cannabis laws into practice.

“We’re taking a page from New York’s book and trying to do basically what you did (at the national level),” Schumer told Wright during the YouTube interview, adding that cannabis tax revenue would also benefit disproportionately-impacted communities.

Schumer remains optimistic about cannabis measure’s passing

On September, 1, 2021, the deadline for public comment came to an end, at which point the bill’s creators Senators Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and Ron Wyden were inundated with feedback and suggestions from the Marijuana Policy Project, the U.S. Cannabis Council and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute; to name a few notable groups/organizations.

Among the variety of comments received, Schumer noted that a major portion questioned the likelihood of the measure being enacted into law, to which he responded by saying, “the answer is yes.” 

“We’re getting some Republican support, and the country is realizing that all the myths about [cannabis] are just that myths,” declared Schumer.

The chances of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act passing are 50-50, considering the fact that the Senate comprises an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.