It’s beginning to look a lot like things might change at the federal level
A bipartisan group of senators plans to attach significant marijuana legislation to “must-pass” year-end bills, Axios has learned.
The big picture: The group, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), has the Justice Department’s blessing for legislation letting cannabis companies access banking institutions, and creating grants for state expungement of past marijuana convictions.
- In an email reviewed by Axios, the Justice Department said it would be able to implement the revised legislation.
- Earlier this year, the Justice Department sent a memo to the Senate with concerns about the potential implementation of the bill, Punchbowl News first reported.
Catch up quick: The targeted legislation is the result of the pairing of two bills —Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act—that would attract both conservatives and progressives across Congress.
- The latest changes to the bill ensure that the legislation does not unintentionally make it harder for law enforcement to prosecute other crimes involving other drugs or money laundering.
Schumer and the bipartisan group plan to attach this legislation to a must-pass year-end bill like the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
- Schumer and Sen. Jeff Merkley have been working with Republicans for months, including Sens. Steve Daines, Rand Paul, and Dan Sullivan.
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