How the Government Shutdown Affected Cannabis Legislation

cannabis legislation

The effects (and financial costs) of the most recent government shutdown are continuing to reveal themselves, sometimes in surprising ways. One relatively under-the-radar development relates to the progression of cannabis-friendly legislation being introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. As more and more states legalize cannabis in both its medical and recreational forms, the federal government is feeling pressured to act. Given the stark conflict between cannabis’ federal classification as a Schedule I controlled substance and states’ willingness to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis, the federal government faces a fairly binary choice—step up and begin enforcing anti-cannabis laws against the states (potentially winding up in court), or working to find a compromise that will allow states and the federal government to more freely regulate cannabis financing, cultivation, and sales.

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