On July 21, 2022, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Ron Wyden officially submitted the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (the “CAOA”) to the U.S. Senate. As described on Senator Booker’s website, if signed into law, the CAOA would, among other things, “end the harmful and out-of-touch federal prohibition on cannabis by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and empowering states to implement their own cannabis laws.”
Along with decriminalizing cannabis moving forward, the CAOA would also mandate the expungement of existing low-level federal cannabis convictions and address restorative justice measures for the communities most impacted by the failed “war on drugs”.
Likely Outcome of the The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act
While many in the cannabis community are excited about the introduction of the CAOA, most cannabis industry leaders and lobbyists recognize that the Act is unlikely to get enough support to pass through the Senate. This is because, to pass the Senate, the CAOA needs 60 affirmative votes. With only 48 democrats in the Senate, CAOA proponents will need at least eight republican senators to vote in favor of the CAOA assuming both independent senators vote in favor of it as well. Considering Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s documented disdain for pro-cannabis legislation, it is unlikely that the CAOA will garner enough republican support to pass through the Senate for consideration by the House of Representatives.
Voice Your Support for CAOA
That being said, if you want the U.S. Senator(s) from your state to vote in favor of the CAOA, it is time to act. Click the link above to access the contact information for your Senator(s) and reach out to them to voice your support for the CAOA. If you are looking for more information about the CAOA or your Senator’s position on cannabis legalization,
Cannabis in Common, a cannabis legalization effort led by HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project, has published an easy to use mapping system that shows the Senators from every state and their stance on cannabis legalization. As the political jockeying about the CAOA begins, it is vitally important that constituents speak up about what they want as well.
Rogoway Law will continue to monitor the progress of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA. Check back here for updates and they become available.