Cannabis Freedom Alliance Comments on the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

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In comments submitted to Sens. Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Ron Wyden on “The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act,” the Cannabis Freedom Alliance applauded the proposed bill because it would accomplish “the overarching goal of legalizing the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and possession of marijuana products at the federal level.”

“The bill takes several important steps toward ending the criminalization of marijuana and the failed war on drugs,” said Adrian Moore, vice president of Reason Foundation, a member of the Cannabis Freedom Alliance’s steering committee. “We’re thankful the Cannabis Freedom Alliance and other groups have been given the opportunity to offer suggestions to improve this important bill.”

 

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) praised elements of the bill’s criminal justice reforms but urged lawmakers to ensure there is more clarity on how agencies and courts should deal with expungements and individuals who are “currently detained for cannabis charges or convicted of such charges awaiting sentencing” because “forcing them to continue in the normal legal process and then later submit a motion for resentencing would be unjust.”

On hemp and farming, the CFA advised the senators to include “explicit statutory language designating raw cannabis as a full federal crop so that it is subject to similar rules and protections as other crops.”

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance also called on lawmakers to ensure any “marijuana product cultivated or manufactured in strict compliance with state regulatory frameworks be deemed acceptable by the FDA and other federal regulators to enter into interstate commerce…We recommend that the CAOA [The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity] expressly authorize the interstate trade of cannabis and cannabis products that already exist in the marketplace, including products in cultivation (to the extent not already covered by the CAOA’s transition provisions) and production, at the time of enactment of the CAOA, subject to existing state laws. The fundamental issue to be addressed is ensuring that state-lawful products that are already in the market can continue to be bought and sold, rather than deemed illegal immediately.”

CFA also warns that the bill’s tax rates could be too high, which would help keep black markets alive and thriving. The Cannabis Freedom Alliance has recommended a federal excise tax sufficient to reimburse federal regulators for the cost of monitoring and facilitating interstate transfers only. This rate should be less than one percent of the retail transaction price.

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