How the Biden Administration is Helping Marijuana Legalization Efforts
Updated: Apr 6
The Biden Administration has been making headlines in the cannabis industry recently, but not in the ways you likely expect. To the surprise of many, the current Administration has made numerous advancements towards easing the restrictions that currently exist for businesses in legal marijuana.
Research around both medical marijuana and recreational cannabis is fairly limited, and considering the fact that medical marijuana has been legal in the U.S. for a quarter-century it’s hard to understand why. Fortunately, recent bills passed by the Biden administration have made it possible for the government to learn more about cannabis while making it easier to do business within the industry.
How the Federal Infrastructure Bill Affects the Cannabis Industry
One of the biggest stories arising from the first full year of Joe Biden’s presidency is the passage of the infrastructure bill, one of his biggest promises while on the campaign trail. Even though the bill contains numerous commitments to rebuilding bridges and roads, there’s also a provision included geared towards making cannabis research easier.
Currently, the majority of cannabis related research is conducted using marijuana exclusively cultivated out of the University of Mississippi. The passage of the infrastructure bill allows the DEA to perform research using the same marijuana that is available for consumer sales at dispensaries.
Additionally, the passage of the infrastructure bill calls for the production of a report by the Transportation Department, the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on the effects of cannabis use and imparied driving. The provision also calls for states where legalized recreational marijuana use is permitted to further educate their citizens on impaired driving. The timetable for the release of the report is two years from the initial passage of the bill.
Marijuana Protections Included Within Recently Passed Defense Bill
Similar to the infrastructure bill, the National Defense Spending Act (NDAA) that passed also contained seldom-discussed provisions concerning cannabis. People who have paid close attention to the development of the recreational and medicinal marijuana markets over the course of the past decade know about the resistance cannabis retailers have faced upon trying to secure access to safe and legal banking.
Cannabis retailers have encountered those problems primarily due to the fact that Cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance per federal law. Lawmakers in congress are now seeking to help cannabis retailers overcome those obstacles thanks to legislation known as the SAFE Banking Act.
The main difference between the legislation presented in the infrastructure bill and the SAFE Banking Act is that the SAFE Banking Act isn’t new. In fact, the legislation has passed the house on five separate occasions since being originally introduced in 2013. Now, it exists both as a stand-alone bill and as an attachment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The fact that it exists in multiple ways helps increase the odds that it will become law sooner rather than later.
Upon its ratification into law, the SAFE Banking act will provide legal immunity to financial institutions that do business with medical marijuana and recreational marijuana businesses that are operating legally. A decision on the fate of the legislation as part of the defense bill depends on a bipartisan joint conference subcommittee.
The committee will make the final decision on what parts of the National Defense Spending Act (NDAA) ultimately gets included and sent to the President's desk to become signed into law, and which parts get left by the wayside in December.
Will The Passage of Recent Bills Make Recreational Federal Marijuana Legalization Closer to Reality?
The recent provisions that were included in bills passed by the Biden administration naturally lead to questions about whether or not recreational cannabis legalization is on the way. The simple answer is that the path to recreational cannabis is still no clearer than it was at the beginning of the Biden administration.
Since there are provisions in the infrastructure bill that make cannabis research easier, there is reason to hope that breakthroughs in research lead to insights that encourage the administration to eventually deschedule cannabis at the Federal level.
Laws around the legality of recreational marijuana use are constantly changing, so it’s best to never say never when considering the possibilities for recreational usage both at the State and National levels. Although recreational cannabis is becoming more widely accepted, the only option for legally and safely accessing marijuana products in Ohio is by obtaining a medical marijuana card. The process of doing so is easy, and it saves Ohioans the hassle of potentially losing hundreds of dollars in court costs and fees or their freedom altogether.
Medical Marijuana Will Remain The Best Way to Legally Access Cannabis in Ohio for the Foreseeable Future
Since the provisions concerning cannabis included in the recent infrastructure bill passed by the Biden administration won’t lead to any immediate changes regarding the Federal legality of marijuana, there’s only one option for Ohio residents to get the benefits of cannabis without any of the legal hassle.
Obtaining a medical marijuana card provides Ohioans with access to Pharmacy Board approved cannabis products that can only be obtained at state-certified dispensaries. To help you learn more about the benefits of medical marijuana in Ohio, friendly and knowledgeable representatives with Ohio Marijuana Card are available to answer questions 6 days a week. To get your Ohio medical marijuana card now, schedule an appointment with an Ohio licensed medical marijuana physician online today.
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Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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