Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

The People’s Ecosystem responses to Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

On July 14th, 2021 Senators Booker, Wyden and Schumer released draft legislation, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA),  with a central purpose of legalizing and de-scheduling cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act. This was after spending a significant amount of time researching and meeting with organizations to aid in the crafting of language. With the release, they intentionally included a period for feedback to be submitted and went so far as to summarizing and outlining sections where guidance is needed. The People’s Ecosystem took advantage of the opportunity to weigh in and offered commentary for consideration. The following are highlights from our remarks: 

*An equal voice at the table when bodies write guidelines, regulations and rules for the awarding of cannabis grants and loan programs is necessary

*Debt facilities for social equity small business loans in order to create the financial flexibility needed to meet the changing demands of the cannabis industry.

*Debt facility for states to implement social equity programs day one (would uplift best practices and guardrails to push best practices). In order to ensure the success of existing programs and to encourage innovative problem solving states need the flexibility that federal financial support can provide. 

*With studies being geared to capture social impact, protection against unintended harm. As state’s regulate cannabis, specifically for recreational use, citizens become increasingly comfortable with admitting consumption. This creates the risk of cannabis use admission being falsely attributed to causation.  

*The expansion of language around re-entry and job training programs to include job placement.

*All cannabis consumption must be viewed as wellness seeking and medicinal. The arbitrary separation of medical from recreational use and the associated implementation of THC limits puts our most vulnerable populations in grave danger.

The road to equity is one with many waves and we’re committed to riding them as they come!