19,000 US Cities Call For Cannabis Rescheduling
The National League of Cities (NLC), a major organization comprised of over 19,000 towns, cities, and villages throughout the United States, is urging the federal government to reschedule cannabis. They are calling for cannabis reform and for the protection of states where it has been legalized, reports Marijuana Moment.
The NLC was established in 1924 as a means of empowering local governments. Last weekend during the NLC City Summit held in Los Angeles, they were able to pass two significant resolutions regarding cannabis. One of them highlights the need of cannabis businesses to access banking and financial services, pleading the government and Congress to “resolve the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws,” as well as “provide guidance to financial institutions that results in the cannabis market having access to the federally regulated banking system.”
The second resolution implores the rescheduling of cannabis so that it no longer sits on the list of Schedule 1 substances, recommending that Congress “pass legislation that would ensure states and local governments have the ability to establish laws and regulations on the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of medical and adult-use cannabis within the state.” The resolution states that doing so would “allow greater federal, state and local regulation of the industry to ensure the cannabis people are buying is not covered with mold, fungus, pesticides, or other harmful substances.” It also argues that rescheduling would “allow the federal, state and local governments to set rules and regulations that would restrict driving under the influence, set age restrictions on buyers and regulate the entire supply chain of cannabis, including growers, distributors, retailers, and testing laboratories.” Furthermore, the second resolution calls for the creation of “federal regulations for the manufacturing, distribution and sale of legal medical and adult-use cannabis,” by the FDA, DEA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Local officials present in the conference also attended two panels which covered helpful information on navigating the legal cannabis market, and another one that helped elected officials understand how to implement and regulate cannabis programs in their areas.
“This is the first time we’ve explicitly called for the federal rescheduling of marijuana,” NLC’s director of communications, Tom Martin, told Marijuana Moment. “For the past five years or so, we’ve been asking the federal government to resolve the conflict between state and federal laws in regards to the banking issue,” he told them in an email.
These resolutions are among the latest made by other coalitions that have called for change in cannabis policy, including the National Conference on State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, and the US Conference of Mayors. Just last June, the Conference of Mayors called for the US Department of Justice, the DEA, and the White House to reschedule cannabis and allow cannabis businesses to access federal banking services. “The looming threat of federal prosecution or shutdown lends uncertainty to states and local governments and legally compliant commercial cannabis business operators, patients, and adult-use consumers, and harms state and local efforts to regulate cannabis for the safety and health of its residents, said one of the measures, which was adopted by the group. The measure, which was sponsored by mayors of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle, and a number of other cities, urged Congress to amend federal spending bills to help protect state cannabis programs and finally address the banking challenges that have long plagued the industry.
“The cannabis industry in the United States could exceed $24 billion in revenue by 2025 and for every $1 spent in the marijuana industry, between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity is generated,” reads one resolution. “The millions of dollars in tax revenues that have been collected in states that have legalized medical and adult-use cannabis provide funding to local police, drug treatment and mental health centers, housing programs, and school programs.”
The NLC event ran from November 7th to the 10th, and was attended by over 3,800 city leaders. It was organized as a platform for city representatives to discuss important issues that affect their communities. It was clear that the cannabis industry and the regulatory hurdles and challenges were an important topic in the discussions, and it prompted officials to identify management strategies and tools through the panel discussions, workshops, and on-site cannabis facility tours.