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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect State Marijuana Laws

Early last month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation to ease federal restrictions on cannabis and solve a few of the biggest problems facing the industry in several states. The bill, known as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, or STATES Act, comes from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). While the STATES Act would do keep restrictions such as the bans on the sale of recreational marijuana to people under 21 and on employing anyone under 18 in a cannabis-related job, it could usher in new medicinal research into the drug.

Most important, the bill gives states the authority to create their own marijuana laws and would open the door to banking for businesses by declaring that cannabis activities no longer constitute as trafficking.

California, Nevada and seven other states have legalized all adult use of marijuana. Twenty other states permit medical marijuana use. Unfortunately, federal prohibition has locked businesses out of traditional banking and lending activities. In California, retailers are known to stuff cash into shopping bags and suitcases when moving payments to state tax collectors. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would create a state charter bank for the marijuana industry.

The STATES Act could also allow businesses to deduct ordinary expenses from their taxes.

The proposed law doesn't explicitly address whether cannabis could be sold across state lines, though it might leave room for that possibility.

If you are a marijuana cultivator, transporter, or inspector, contact our San Diego cannabis business lawyers today. We have extensive experience representing the local government in California, as well as experience with the licensing, taxation and discretionary aspects of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. As a result, we are well-positioned to represent local government on such issues as establishing a licensing apparatus, issuing licenses, and enforcing compliance.

Call (858) 360-7080 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation.

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