Over 19,000 cities, towns and villages across the United States are looking for guidance from the Federal government on Cannabis Regulation. The National League of Cities (NLC), an organization founded in 1924 to empower local governments, passed two far-reaching resolutions related to cannabis recently.
The first resolution from the NLC focuses on marijuana businesses’ access to financial services. The group implores the Trump administration and Congress to, “resolve the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws” and “provide guidance to financial institutions that results in the cannabis market having access to the federally regulated banking system.”
Here’s an excerpt from their conference resolution: “Cannabis’ status as a Schedule I illicit substance on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the CSA’s coupling with the Bank Secrecy Act have created a condition under which the cannabis industry has severely limited access to the federally-regulated banking industry, and this condition has led to a reliance on ‘cash only’ models that involve the transportation of large sums of paper money through cities, increase the risks of theft crimes and tax evasion, and deny large groups of business owners the capital needed to enter the market.”
The second resolution from the National League of Cities calls for the removal of cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act and asks Congress to “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.”
Rescheduling cannabis from schedule 1 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,” the resolution argues. It would also “allow the federal, state and local governments to set more clear 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.”
That second resolution also calls for the establishment of “federal regulations for the manufacturing, distribution and sale of legal medical and adult-use cannabis” by the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. States already have compliance guidelines, but many conflict with federal laws.
In addition to considering policy resolutions like the marijuana ones, local officials attending the NLC City Summit in Los Angeles were able to attend two separate panels, including one that offered advice on how to navigate the legal cannabis market and another providing information for elected officials on how to get ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing and regulating marijuana programs in their jurisdictions.
At Ledger-Safe we believe the future of high-risk industries like cannabis should be handled similarly to other federally regulated commercial markets, and that local governments should have the final decision on whether their communities can prosper with the added commercial opportunities that cannabis businesses can bring fro local tax revenue.