Local Response To News That Cannabis Admin & Opportunity Act Is Coming

“The introduction of this draft sends a clear signal to the states to keep making progress on cannabis policy.”

As Marijuana Moment reported on Tuesday, “Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will hold a press conference Wednesday to unveil a preliminary version of what’s being titled the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.”

We will keep you posted on that as it impacts Massachusetts and beyond, including reactions from everyone from consumers to dispensary workers and owners. In the meantime, Shaleen Title, former Cannabis Control Commission member and current CEO of the Parabola Center that is working on federal legalization efforts, released a statement on the breaking news (that was nevertheless long in the making).

“The introduction of this draft sends a clear signal to the states to keep making progress on cannabis policy,” Title wrote. “Parabola Center will focus on concrete recommendations to reverse the current trend toward excessive corporate consolidation and instead advance the goal of a fair, open, and competitive marketplace that the three senators and the Biden administration have clearly set out through their leadership. We’re encouraged by the senators’ inclusive process and intend to join other equity advocates in offering ways for the federal government to protect and build on the states’ progress toward social justice in cannabis policy. Millions of people fought for an end to prohibition. We see this as an opportunity to stop the arrests and to shape the national marketplace for legal marijuana to be open to all, not just a wealthy few.”

The Parabola Center has proposed various amendments and alternatives for “incremental approaches to federal legalization.” According to the organization’s materials:

The end of federal marijuana prohibition is coming. This remarkable political change happened over the past several decades because of a mass movement of millions of people who beat the power dynamics against all odds. But now that mass movement needs to decide what national marijuana legalization will look like. “Deschedule marijuana and we can figure out the rest later” is not an acceptable position to take. No one, certainly not corporate conglomerates, will do this work for us. We need to do it ourselves.

The good news is that finally, much of the leadership in Congress is on the same page as the people. We want to legalize and responsibly regulate marijuana, encourage small businesses within a diverse and equitable market, and benefit those who have been harmed the most by marijuana laws. To do that, we need to avoid opening the floodgates to interstate commerce all at once. Instead, the federal government needs time and space to develop the competence to regulate marijuana in an equitable way. Then it can slowly and intentionally allow for a national interstate marketplace. In the meantime, existing state programs can continue to develop as successful models begin to emerge.

You can support Title and the Parabola Center patron on Patreon.