On Thursday, four House members announced the formation of a new caucus—the Cannabis Caucus. One of the main goals of the newly created caucus is to defend states' rights to establish their local marijuana policies.
The Cannabis Caucus consists of two Republicans and two Democrats: Rep. Jared Polis (D-Co), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca), Rep. Don Young (R-Ak), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Or). Curiously, most of the caucus' members claim they never used marijuana neither for medical nor recreational purposes. The only exception is Dana Rohrabacher who said he was using cannabis-infused topicals to manage pain after his recent arm surgery.
Alongside defending local marijuana policies, the politicians want to make it a bit easier for the cannabis entrepreneurs to launch and develop their businesses in the states where marijuana was legalized for medical and/or recreational use. The group also wants to make sure the federal government won't block research on marijuana's medicinal potential.
In addition to that, the politicians will work on different marijuana-related legislation: from tax policies to banking issues to potential for enforcement. Due to marijuana still being illegal on the federal level, most banks and credit companies do not want to cooperate with the cannabis industry. As a result, the majority of marijuana-related businesses are forced to work with cash, which is quite uncomfortable for entrepreneurs and their customers.
Considering the latest appointment of Jeff Sessions, whose relationships with marijuana are far from friendly, as the U.S. Attorney General, it is about time for someone in Congress to stand for the cannabis industry.
Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use of cannabis. Medical marijuana is legalized in 28 states across the U.S.