2022 was a historic year for cannabis, even though marijuana banking reform was excluded from a large-scale spending bill in December after failing to make it into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
From the enactment of the first piece of standalone federal cannabis reform legislation in U.S. history - a marijuana research bill – to President Biden's announcement that he will pardon all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession, both Dems and GOP lawmakers have been pushing for reform.
With the bipartisan momentum continuing into the 118th Congress, 2023 is likely to be a productive year for marijuana as well. To that end, the first cannabis-related piece of legislation filed in the new session concerns the controversial issue of medical marijuana patients and their gun rights.
Still, some lawmakers are more cautious in their projections for 2023, given the new Republican majority in the House.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who earlier said that Congress had a "good shot" at passing a cannabis banking reform bill during the lame-duck session after the midterms, a move that didn't happen despite Senator Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) efforts, is still optimistic.
In a recent interview with NJ.com's Jonathan D. Salant, Booker said that it would be "harder but not impossible," given that "the dynamics have shifted pretty dramatically" now that Republicans are in charge of the House.
"The urgencies that push us towards some kind of partnership are still there, on the business side as well as the restorative justice side," Booker said.
White House Doesn't Want To Interfere
Meanwhile, Salant asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at a press briefing last week whether Biden has plans to act on the cannabis banking issue, to which she replied that there are no new policy announcements, reported Marijuana Moment.
"As you know, this is something that Congress is working on," Jean-Pierre said. "And we understand that there's interest in legislation and action, but I would refer you to Congress."
Photo: Benzinga edit of photo by JD Lasica on Wikimedia Commons and Jeff W on Unsplash
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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