MJBizMag May-June 2022 - 20

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS National & International
U.S. News
Feds Agree to Return $1.1M
in Seized Marijuana Funds
The U.S. Department of Justice
plans to give back $1.1 million in
marijuana proceeds to an armored
car company after its vehicles were
stopped by sheriff's deputies in
San Bernardino County, California,
last year.
As a result of the settlement,
Chuck Schumer
Sen. Schumer Delays
Marijuana Reform Bill
U.S. Sen. Majority Leader
Chuck Schumer's long-awaited
comprehensive marijuana reform
bill is delayed again. Schumer now
plans to introduce his Cannabis
Administration and Opportunity Act
before the Senate recess in early
August, according to media outlets.
Industry experts in April said
Schumer was short of the support
needed to get his reform package
passed in the Senate. The latest
delay comes as reform in the Senate
has stalled.
That's not been the case in the
U.S. House of Representatives.
There, lawmakers recently passed
for the second time in the chamber's
history the comprehensive
marijuana reform measure known
as the MORE Act.
House Democrats also are trying
to push through cannabis banking
reform as part of an American
competitiveness bill that will be
hammered out by a congressional
conference committee.
Additionally, three House
lawmakers introduced a bipartisan
bill to direct the federal government
to develop a regulatory framework
that would be enacted if the 85year
federal prohibition on
marijuana ends.
20 May-June 2022 | MJBizMagazine
Empyreal Logistics, which does
business in 28 states and acts as a
cash courier between state-legal
marijuana businesses and their
banks as well as for mainstream
industries, will drop its federal
lawsuit against the DOJ, the FBI
and the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration.
Beyond the California issue, an
Empyreal driver was stopped in
October in Kansas while transporting
cash from a Missouri medical
marijuana dispensary to a financial
institution in Colorado.
Ag Committee Chair Suggests
Adding MJ to 2023 Farm Bill
U.S. Rep. David Scott, chair of the
House Agriculture Committee,
suggested Congress could add highTHC
cannabis to the next Farm
Bill. The Georgia Democrat floated
the idea after hearing powerful
testimony from Amber Littlejohn,
executive director of the Minority
Cannabis Business Association.
Littlejohn told lawmakers
that small and minority-owned
marijuana companies likely won't
survive without some help from
Congress, adding that state-level
social equity programs have not
been able to keep many minorityowned
businesses afloat.
In response, Scott said the
Farm Bill coming up in 2023
should address the barriers
that small businesses and Black
entrepreneurs face when trying to
start legal marijuana companies
under state law.
" Here we are, the fastest-growing
agricultural product, between hemp
and cannabis, " he said. " We've got
to address this issue. We can no
longer hide it. "
Some are scoffing at a marijuana
industry regulated by farm officials
with more expertise on broadacre
commodities such as wheat.
David
Scott
Skeptics also point out that if
the GOP takes control of the U.S.
House, as some expect, Republicans
on the Agriculture Committee have
expressed no interest in expanding
marijuana legalization through the
2023 Farm Bill.
Even some prominent hemp
advocates say that marijuana could
distract from other changes they'd
like to see in the 2023 Farm Bill,
including a higher THC limit and
clarity about intoxicating products
made from converted hemp
extracts, such as delta-8 THC.
Longtime California cannabis
consultant Oliver Summers said
Scott's proposal, while humorous,
is important. " Even if the bill
doesn't have any chance in hell
of passing ... people are talking
about it. "

MJBizMag May-June 2022

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