Congress won’t include marijuana reform in the defense bill as previously attempted
Some plans in Congress claimed that the defense bill was going to add marijuana reform. However, now that new details in the SAFE Plus package have come to light, congressional lawmakers are refusing to go through that process.
Bipartisan, bicameral negotiations appear to be turning the tide. Initially, it was thought among advocates that a full-scale defense bill was going to serve as a vehicle to enact marijuana banking reform and expungements. However, after several meetings were held among those charged with the issue, this legislation will not include any marijuana-related language.
While this news may seem disappointing to many stakeholders, lawmakers have been negotiating and promoting some new details on the so-called SAFE Plus package. Industry experts say that while the year is coming to a close, the agreement still has some potential to move forward as part of separate omnibus appropriations legislation, or even on a stand-alone basis.
The past few weeks have seen talks about SAFE Plus intensify. While there were solid hopes that lawmakers would seek to attach the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cannabis proposals, several Republican colleagues have become a real roadblock. As a result, the plan was turned to dust before a House Rules Committee meeting scheduled for earlier this week.
Yesterday, the text of the bill was released, without any component related to cannabis policy. While it is still possible that certain plant-related amendments will be implemented into the NDAA, it is certainly a disappointment for advocates who were looking for an earlier success for the SAFE Plus package.