Just a day after the House Appropriations Committee released a report urging federal agencies to reconsider firing employees for past cannabis use, several cannabis and hemp-related spending bills have advanced in Congress. As the 2022 midterms approach, Democrats have limited time to advance cannabis legislation before the Republican Party challenges their tenuous hold on Congress. If these bills are successful, they could have far-reaching effects on the cannabis and hemp industries.
For starters, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill with an attached report acknowledging clarification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) that veterans who work in the state-legal cannabis industry are eligible for home loan benefits. The report notes that despite its acknowledgment, VA still hasn’t communicated this policy to borrowers and lenders. As such, the VA is to facilitate that communication and report back to Congress within 180 days of the legislation’s enactment.
Also, a spending bill that will provide the Department of Homeland Security’s funding for fiscal year 2022 includes a provision that prevents component agencies from using past cannabis use of low-level offenses as a pretext for denying immigration benefits or protections. The bill also protects them from being penalized in an application.
A standalone bill has been introduced this session to prevent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The bill, which considers anyone who has consumed even state-legal cannabis as “morally unfit” for citizenship and denies qualifying individuals citizenship based on past cannabis use, has not been acted on yet.
Another spending bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) cover hemps and its derivatives such as CBD. Lawmakers argue that the 0.3% THC cap for legal hemp products, which was introduced by the 2018 Farm Bill, is arbitrary and may not be supported by science. The report directs the USDA to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to study whether there is any credible scientific basis to the THC cap.
Additionally, lawmakers pointed out that language that forbids individuals with felony drug convictions from taking part in the hemp industry for 10 years after being released may act as a barrier to entry for communities that were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Consequently, the USDA is to analyze these and other barriers that keep impacted communities from joining the industry and report recommendations on how to make sure the sector is equitable.
If this growing awareness by Congress of the need to make cannabis reforms galvanizes into the enactment of enabling federal laws, it has potential to greatly reduce the contradictions that companies such as Sonoma Biologics Corp. have to navigate as they try to adhere to both federal and state marijuana laws.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Sonoma Biologics Corp. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information please visit https://www.CNW420.com
Do you have questions or are you interested in working with CNW420? Ask our Editor
CNW420 is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.