Friends, you may have noticed that Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) filed another cannabis legalization bill, the “States Reform Act”, sporting a title that is sure to be confused with the extant proposed STATES Act. (link). If you didn’t see the news, then you likely haven’t noticed the rise in cannabis stock prices since the prospect of this bill emerged about a week ago. (link)
Now, when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the similarly boringly-named Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) back in July, I was somewhat dismissive, noting that I wasn’t “going to spend too much time analyzing it.” (link) Because I know you come here for editorial consistency, I’m approaching the States Reform Act in the same manner. Why? Well, I still don’t think any of these bills will pass any time soon (see, e.g., constituency pushback), and others have already done a nice job already summarizing the key points.
I did want to point out a few highlights, however. First, it would give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives a much greater role in regulation than is proposed in the CAOA, which was something I had suggested back in January (link), simply because it just makes logical sense to me. Second, it would permit both interstate commerce (a topic near and dear to my heart), and import/export (which I noted about the CAOA here), suggesting those outcomes are even more of a reality.
Me, I’m focused on the mere fact that, like the CAOA, it doesn’t use that dreck term “marijuana” (or, if you’re a purist, “marihuana”, as it’s styled in the Controlled Substances Act), but instead uses the industry-preferred “cannabis”. I fully recognize that this is very much beside the point, but I think the change in language signifies an important shift in approach by Congressional supporters of the industry and legalization. Related to my recent point that the industry should consider how its perceived (link), language plays a very big part of that message, and changing minds includes changing the conversation.