A bill to reschedule marijuana has been submitted by two Florida Congressional members.
The marijuana industry has grown at a historically quick pace despite many legal obstacles in the way. Barriers such as inadequate research and a lack of access to the banking system could be remedied if a new bill in Congress is passed.
Florida Congressman Darren Soto (D) and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz have introduced a bill that would drastically change federal policy on marijuana. If their bill is passed then marijuana would shift from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III substance.
This could make all the difference in the world for marijuana patients and members of the industry. A green light for large-scale marijuana research could finally provide definitive answers on which ailments stand to benefit from marijuana use.
“I have supported cannabis reform as a state legislator, and I want to see the people that I fought for in my state have access to a legal, high-quality product that’s been well-researched,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz also feels there could be a significant economic boost if marijuana companies can gain access to traditional banking. One particular area of concern relates to raising capital. Because business loans from banks are not possible, many marijuana businesses have trouble acquiring the necessary funds to get their business off the ground. Additionally, without bank accounts, shops are often forced to keep marijuana and cash under the same roof. Obviously, this can attract criminals and invite robberies.
“It’s a modest step forward to try to find the most possible common ground,” Gaetz said describing his bill’s intention.
Federal law still considers marijuana to be as dangerous as heroin and to have less medical efficacy than cocaine. Despite this view from federal authorities, dozens of states have legalized marijuana for medical use. Recreational use has been approved in eight states. It is unclear if the White House would support the bill. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it obvious that he is not a fan of marijuana reform.