Senate Stymies DC Legalization

With the DC Council set to vote on moving forward with a retail tax and sales program for adult-use cannabis in just a week, it comes as a big surprise to me that members of the US Senate have decided to intervene in the District’s right to self-determination once again.

After Democrats won the House last year, Mayor Bowser announced her intention to bring recreational marijuana dispensaries to the District. As expected, the Dem-led House removed the rider from its version of the federal spending bill that prevents DC from spending its funds to create a green cannabis market.

But the Senate’s version, as reported by Marijuana Moment this week, has reintroduced the rider. If the Senate passes their spending bill with this language and the House omits it, then they’ll have to reconcile the discrepancy before sending a version on to the President to sign.

As I’ve pointed out before, the Democrats have a lot of things they want and DC’s desire to sell weed ain’t the highest ranking priority on the books. There’s a long history of DC being used as a bargaining chip in negotiations, too.

It seems highly unlikely to me at this point that legal marijuana sales will go forward. I mean, like, 10 percent, and that’s wildly optimistic. The DC Council is still gonna vote on it for now, but they’ve been averse to pursuing this path while the rider is in place.

It’s bad news for people that want to shop at dispensaries and Big Canna, who can’t wait to swoop on another market. It’s good news for your local gifters, but doesn’t necessarily mean the Council won’t pass a separate measure to cut out the gifting loophole as is included in the Mayor’s current bill- especially considering the vape illness sweeping the country.

The Gentleman will be here either way, mijos. Stay tuned!

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