Democrats defy Biden Admin by scrapping cannabis sales ban in D.C.

26th June 2021

Congressional Democrats in the US have reportedly gone against the plans of the Biden administration to maintain a block on legal cannabis sales in the capital.

Marijuana Moment reports that President Joe Biden wants to keep blocking cannabis sales in Washington D.C., as he chose to maintain a blockade that was originally placed by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and maintained in annual appropriations of the legislation.

This week, leaders of a US House of Representatives sub-committee released a spending bill that would lift the ban, as well as protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses.

President Biden specifically maintained the rider that would continue to stop Washington D.C. from implementing legal cannabis sales in his budget proposal last month.

However, many congressional and local lawmakers and politicians are in support of removing the ban. The mayor of D.C. revealed earlier this year that local officials will look into implementing legal cannabis sales in the capital as soon as the necessary hurdles are removed.

Advocates for cannabis reform and Biden supporters have so far been disappointed with a lack of movement on campaign trials made by the President on the campaign trail concerning cannabis laws.

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both spoke out in support of cannabis reforms during the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, however, the government is yet to implement and meaningful action when it comes to the cannabis industry.

Biden’s budget proposal did, however, include $17 million in funding to support the industrial hemp industry. The US hemp industry has been on the rise since the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Trump – legislation that federally legalised the cultivation of low-THC cannabis plants.

While the House of Representatives is looking to offer protections to banks working with cannabis businesses and remove the D.C. sales ban, the Republican-controlled Senate has failed to support similar measures in the past. However, there is hope that this may change now that there is a Democratic majority in the chamber.

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