Leader Schumer Introduces Broad Cannabis Legalization Bill in Senate

As expected, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Sen. Cory Booker (D NJ) and Sen Ron Wyden (D OR), introduced an extensive cannabis bill in the Senate. The 296-page bill removes cannabis from the controlled Substances Act and eliminates federal prohibitions in states that have chosen to legalize medical or adult use of cannabis. It retains federal prohibitions on the trafficking of cannabis in violation of state law or in states that have not legalized cannabis.

The legislation contains language that prohibits cannabis advertising, whether directly or indirectly, to individuals under 21 years of age. The prohibition is directed at the advertisers and not stations per se. Such restrictions also appear in NY State law. We will be working with Sen. Schumer’s office regarding this language.

New York has already approved adult use of cannabis. Accordingly, the passage of this bill would solve our problems with accepting cannabis advertisements in the Empire State. However, it is unlikely that the bill will pass the Senate in its present form. The bill must obtain at least 10 Republican votes to pass, which is a nearly impossible task.

We expect there will be serious negotiations on this bill with action towards the end of the year. This may be a “lame duck” compromise after the mid-term elections.

Again, simply passing the U. S. House of Representatives does not change federal law. Given that stations operate under a federal license, there are significant risks with accepting cannabis advertising.

Click here to see a summary of the legislation.

Click here to see the text of the bill.