Cannabis News of Note for the Week:
Politico Pro Cannabis: Committees of the 118th Congress (paywalled newsletter, text below)
Cannabis Reports of Note for the Week:
Politico Pro Cannabis: COMMITTEES OF THE 118TH CONGRESS — Cannabis policy has, at different times, intersected with 17 or more committees on Capitol Hill. But there are a few that deal with the issue more often than others, and here is a breakdown of the members we will be watching in 2023:
House Judiciary Committee: Chair Jim Jordan (Ohio) has a history of being strongly against cannabis legislation, making any legislation that deals with expungements or the Controlled Substances Act highly unlikely. That could pose a problem for the HOPE Act, a bill introduced in the last Congress by Reps. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that would provide funding for states to pay for expungement programs. The committee’s new majority still has several pro-cannabis members, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Tom McClintock (Calif.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.).
House Agriculture Committee: The Ag committee will be tackling the next farm bill which will likely address ongoing issues with the regulation of CBD and hemp. New Chair Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.) supports the SAFE Banking Act, and while that will not advance through this committee, it shows a willingness to consider piecemeal cannabis issues. Ranking member David Scott (D-Ga.) has commented before on the differences between federal and state cannabis policies, pointing out the inconsistencies it creates.
House Veterans Affairs Committee: New Chair Mike Bost (Ill.) does not have a history of supporting cannabis legislation but the committee has a number of members in the majority who are highly pro-cannabis, including Rep. Nancy Mace (S.C.). Ranking member Mark Takano (D-Calif.) slow walked veterans-related legislation as committee chair, so the push for policy changes may not be strong from the minority in this committee.
House Energy and Commerce Committee: The committee has primary jurisdiction over the FDA, and will likely be involved if Congress passes any CBD legislation. The new chair is Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) is a committee member and frequent champion of hemp legislation.
House Financial Services Committee: New Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) told The Hill at the end of the last year that he wouldn’t stand in the way if Republicans want to pass SAFE, even though he doesn’t like the bill.
House Appropriations Committee: Chair Kay Granger (R-Texas) voted against the SAFE Banking Act when it passed the House in the last Congress. She has voted in favor of cannabis research, however. The committee is also home to a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio). He is the chair of the Homeland Security subcommittee.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) is the new chair of the HELP Committee, and his support for cannabis legalization is well known. It’s expected that he’ll be active on the issue in his committee, which oversees the FDA.
Senate Banking Committee: Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is back again, but the committee has a new ranking member, Tim Scott of South Carolina. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, is also on the committee.
Senate VA Committee: Chair Jon Tester (D-Mont.) has a veterans cannabis bill in the works, and is something we’ll be watching this year. GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, who has worked with Tester on the legislation, is also on the committee.
Senate Judiciary Committee: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is chair of the committee and is a supporter of the SAFE Banking Act. Ranking member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said he’s open to medical marijuana.
Senate Appropriations Committee: Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) are the new head appropriators, which will be important should we reach another point where cannabis legislation is being tossed about as part of a year end funding package. Both hail from legal marijuana states.