Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search
Menu

Alert

Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

January 7, 2021

New Administration and Majority in Congress Forecast Changes for Cannabis Legalization

With the Biden presidency confirmed by the Electoral College and the Georgia Senate runoff results flipping control of the Senate to a slim Democratic majority, legislation currently languishing in Congress may see renewed life, bringing sweeping changes to the cannabis industry.

Key legislation includes the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, passed by the House on December 4, 2020, which contains comprehensive cannabis reforms, including removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, expungement of past criminal convictions, taxation of cannabis products to fund criminal and social reforms, and prohibition of denial of certain public benefits on the basis of cannabis use.

Other key legislation is the Secure and Fair Enforcement Act, also known as the SAFE Banking Act, which was passed by the House in 2019. The act contains multiple provisions protecting banks and businesses that work with cannabis-related industries. The act contains additional provisions that eliminate civil and criminal prosecution for the insurance industry serving legalized cannabis businesses.

Although a Democratic majority does not guarantee speedy reforms, and key cabinet positions and, more importantly, Department of Justice posts have yet to be filled, expect significant federal reforms in the cannabis industry.

On a related front, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his renewed efforts to finally pass legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis in New York State. Last year’s attempts at adult-use legislation were unsuccessful. Although significant revenue for the state may not be realized for years, budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic and legalization in adjoining states may finally spur a successful drive for reform. The governor will call for legalization in the upcoming State of the State address.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mary Volcko, project specialist, at mvolcko@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Cannabis Team.

Subscribe

Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media

Alerts

Unpacking the Impact of the Newly Effective Information Blocking Rule

Alerts

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Certifies Questions Regarding Damages for Improper Judgment Enforcement to New York Court of Appeals

Alerts

NYS Governor Cuomo Signs Bill to Fully Repeal Immunity for Certain Health Care Providers and Facilities

Alerts

Gridlock and Middleman Lobbying Cause NYS Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reforms to Fail Again in NYS Budget

Alerts

IRS Issues Additional Guidance on the Employee Retention Credit for First Two Quarters of 2021

Alerts

More Good News for Local Restaurants and Entertainment Establishments

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out