The Congress that takes over next month will seem far more friendly to marijuana interests thanks to Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives. And marijuana interests are making sure they can get as much support as possible.
The cannabis industry is lobbying hard to push marijuana reforms under the new Congress that takes over next month. The biggest issues they'll be pushing are allowing cannabis companies to work with banks, allow marijuana businesses access to tax breaks like other industries and creating protections for states that legalized marijuana already.
The biggest obstacle has already been removed. Texas Republican Pete Sessions, who chaired the House Rules Committee, regularly blocked marijuana bills and amendments from receiving votes on Congress. Sessions lost his bid for re-election last month, and Democrat Jim McGovern who is taking over as the House Rules chair says he will allow marijuana bills and amendments to receive votes from the House.
And while cannabis companies are reaching out to Democrats and Republicans to push their interests, one major obstacle remains: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Despite pushing hard for hemp legalization this year, McConnell has repeatedly stated his opposition to marijuana legalization. And despite several Republican senators supporting marijuana bills, he's refused to allow them for votes as well. The hope is that pressure from Republicans as well as progress made by Democrats in the House will motivate McConnell to get over his fears and at least allow marijuana bills to receive votes, or risk the GOP becoming seen as the anti-marijuana party.
So for now, the cannabis industry is hopeful that progress is on the horizon.
(h/t The Hill)