On April 10, US Attorney General William Barr indicated support for the recently introduced Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (or STATES) Act to the Senate. Through the bill, US presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Cory Gardner are seeking to amend the Controlled Substance Act and add certain provisions related to marijuana so that each state will have the right to determine how to regulate marijuana without interference from federal authorities.
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“Intolerable” current situation
William Barr told the Senate Appropriation subcommittee that the current state of the cannabis industry in the US was “intolerable.” He further added that his first choice would be to legalize cannabis at a federal level. However, if that option is not available, then the STATES Act should be the next option.
Barr dislikes the current approach to how the conflict between federal authorities and states in regards to legalized marijuana is handled. Rather than the federal authorities looking the other way or ignoring the presence of marijuana operations in the states, the Attorney General would like to formalize the procedure through the proposed STATES Act.
If the bill is signed into law, then companies such as Canopy Growth (WEED) (CGC), Aurora Cannabis (ACB), Aphria (APHA), and Tilray (TLRY) would have more freedom to set up operations (MJ) without worrying as much about federal authorities in the US.