Legal Marijuana Industry is a Money Maker in the U.S.:
The marijuana industry in the United States raked in over $2 billion dollars in 2014 and more is expected this year. Currently, there are 23 states that have passed legislation that permits medical marijuana in some form and 4 states that permit recreational marijuana. More states are set to debate the merits of passing similar legislation in 2016. The marijuana industry in the U.S. is only set to grow larger. It really is like the new gold rush of our current times. Some now refer to the burgeoning marijuana industry in the U.S. as ‘The Green Rush.’ Given reform on a federal level, the industry is set to take over.
Marijuana Reform News Review Today:
Marijuana reform is moving forward in states all across the U.S., but marijuana is still illegal from a federal standpoint. Under the Controlled Substance Act in the U.S., marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 drug and is federally prohibited. The federal government does not currently believe that marijuana holds any medical value, and that it is highly addictive and dangerous. However, based on the significant gains that the marijuana industry has registered over the last five years across individual states, it appears that a large contingent of the American population believes otherwise. California become the first state to break away from the federal government and legalize medical marijuana back in 1996. Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado have taken this reform a step further by legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. One problem for the states is that managing the funds the stem from medical and recreational marijuana sales is made much more difficult due to federal law.
The federal law has placed obstacles on the banking industry in the U.S. which deters them from doing business with other businesses associated with the marijuana sale. Under the Controlled Substances Act, in Title 21 of the U.S. Code, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance. Banks fear federal punishment via fines or even a complete shut down for getting involved in the business of marijuana sales.
New Legislation to Change Marijuana Law on the Federal Level:
This year, the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2015 was introduced in the House and Senate. The purpose of this legislation is to protect banking institutions from being penalized by the federal government for managing money that stems from legal marijuana sales. Additionally, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate recently which would remove marijuana from the list of banned and controlled substances. Although no further action has been taken on this legislation, passage of either one of these bills would open wide the door of legal marijuana sales across the U.S.