Senator Cory Booker has revealed that there is a chance that some marijuana policy reforms, such as social justice and cannabis banking reforms, can still be approved by Congress during the session coming just after the November elections and before a new House takes office. He was quick to add that such an opportunity may be harder to get in case Republicans wrest control of either the House of Representatives or Senate out of the control of the Democrats.
The senator made these remarks during an interview with a New Jersey-based media outlet called NJ.com. Booker said that Congressional leadership was conducting active negotiations regarding a series of marijuana policy change proposals before the recess paving way for midterm elections starts.
Booker was confident that during the sittings, often called lame-duck sessions, there is a high possibility that bipartisan support will galvanize into action in favor of passing reform before a new Congress takes office. This is because supporters on both sides of the political aisle are aware that passing cannabis reforms is likely to become harder once the elections bring changes to the dominant party in either legislative chamber.
In the interview, Booker expressed frustration that the legalization of cannabis at state level hasn’t yielded the democratizing effect hoped for in the industry. He cited the small number of minority-owned cannabis companies in New Jersey as an example of the lack of equity in this nascent industry. He added that there was an urgent need for the U.S. Senate to take steps and enact reforms that catered to different issues, such as bringing accessibility to the banking system, implementing restorative justice and channeling tax dollars into creating employment opportunities as well as combating the wave of addiction sweeping across the country.
Regarding President Joseph Biden’s recent directives on marijuana, Booker expressed happiness about the decisions and said that those decisions were a fulfillment of several out-of-camera discussions he and the president had had back when President Biden was campaigning for the top office in the land. While Booker was initially opposed to passing any cannabis banking reforms before comprehensive social justice changes are made, the legislator eventually signaled a change of heart and indicated that he could consider supporting banking reform if some social justice provisions were added to the initiative.
The cannabis industry and entities such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) await any changes that may come out of Capitol Hill during the lame-duck session and beyond. Hopefully, those changes bring the long-awaited policy reforms that can enable the industry to grow while addressing concerns about public health and access by minors.
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