CAPITAL REGION (WRGB) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed legislation to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level.
His proposal would strike it from the controlled substance list.
Cannabis experts at the Castetter Cannabis Group say this bill would be a big start towards potential federal legalization. And they say that if could potentially launch the cannabis industry in New York faster than expected.
They tell us the federal government has a negative view of cannabis. Experts tell us the bill would impose a federal tax which would be around 25 percent on top of state taxes, which would drive up the cost of cannabis. That likely will be passed on to the consumer.
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CEO Kaelan Castetter says that this bill could speed up the rollout of the cannabis industry in New York, since other states have already legalized and regulated cannabis. Lawmakers did legalize marijuana but there's no cannabis control board or regulations in place. The state office of cannabis management is still being rolled out. This federal bill would help other states where marijuana has already been legal for longer than New York.
"If we would have federal legalization happen in the next year New York would become an importer of cannabis and that really would we have a huge opportunity here to develop an industry in our state and lead the world but the longer it takes to roll out the program the less likely that looks like it will happen."
This bill is a draft. More changes could be coming. Lawmakers in New York don't expect the office of cannabis management to be up and running for at least another year.