On February 1, 2021, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced their intention to introduce cannabis reform legislation this year. In a joint announcement, the Senators pledged to end the federal prohibition on cannabis, as well as “ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.”
While the Senators have not yet released their plan, all three have sponsored cannabis-related legislation in the past. Each Senator has sponsored legislation to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, with Sen. Schumer sponsoring the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act in 2018, Sen. Booker sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act in 2019, and Sen. Wyden sponsoring the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act in 2019. Both the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act and Marijuana Justice Act sought to establish trust funds for the benefit of communities disproportionally impacted by the War on Drugs, and the Marijuana Justice Act also sought to expunge federal convictions for cannabis use and possession. The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act sought to establish a framework for taxing cannabis products produced in the US as well as those imported.
As the new Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Schumer can ensure that any bill proposed receives a vote in the U.S. Senate. We will continue to monitor any developments and analyze any proposed legislation the Senators release.