WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) has joined Reps. Dave Joyce (OH-14), Brian Mast (FL-21), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Troy Carter (LA-02) to introduce a modernized version of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act to ensure that every state has the right to determine the best approach to cannabis within its borders.
This legislation also extends these protections to Washington D.C., U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribal nations.
A total of 48 states have laws permitting, to some degree, cannabis or cannabis-based products. Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and several tribal nations have similar laws. However, federal guidance is often in contradiction and lacks proper regulatory support.
“As more and more states have adopted their own laws regarding cannabis legalization, it's more important than ever to create a safe and professional environment for one of the fastest-growing industries. That's why I'm honored to help lead the STATES Act. By recognizing state cannabis laws at the federal level, we can help bring certainty and safety to businesses and communities,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
The STATES Act:
- Amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to no longer classify marijuana as a substance covered by the CSA when it is manufactured, produced, possessed, distributed, dispensed, administrated, or delivered in compliance with state and tribal laws, while also ensuring states that opt to maintain prohibition receive federal support and assistance for this enforcement.
- Continues to apply the following federal criminal provisions under the CSA by prohibiting:
- Distribution of marijuana to anyone under the age of 21, and
- Employment of persons under age 18 in marijuana operations.
- Regulates marijuana products through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Food and Drug Administration by outlining that the FDA should classify marijuana products as they fall into specific categories, such as drug, food, and dietary supplements to ensure products meet the standards for contaminant testing, manufacturing expectations, and marketing practices. This bill will also make clear the FDA will not have the authority to require premarket approval.
- Prohibits the distribution of marijuana at transportation safety facilities such as rest areas and truck stops.
- Bars the distribution or sale of marijuana to persons under the age of 21 other than for medical purposes.
- Instructs the comptroller general of the U.S. to conduct a study on the effects of marijuana legalization on traffic safety, including whether states can accurately evaluate marijuana impairment, testing standards used by these states, and a detailed assessment of traffic incidents.
- Addresses financial issues caused by federal prohibition by clearly stating that compliant transactions are not trafficking and do not result in proceeds of an unlawful transaction.
Full text of the bill is available HERE.