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Congress Maintains Ban On D.C. Legalizing Sales Of Recreational Marijuana | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

A draft federal spending bill unveiled by Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday maintains a seven-year-old prohibition on D.C. legalizing recreational marijuana sales, again frustrating local efforts to tax and regulate sales that many states — including Maryland and Virginia — are currently pushing forward. It also maintains a longstanding provision that forbids the city from spending money to cover abortions for low-income women.…
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draft federal spending bill unveiled by Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday maintains a seven-year-old prohibition on D.C. legalizing recreational marijuana sales, again frustrating local efforts to tax and regulate sales that many states — including Maryland and Virginia — are currently pushing forward. It also maintains a longstanding provision that forbids the city from spending money to cover abortions for low-income women.

The $1.5 trillion, 2,741-page spending bill for the 2022 fiscal year faces a House vote as early as later today. It does not remove any of the so-called legacy policy riders, individual provisions that dictate what the federal government can and cannot do on hot-button issues like abortion funding.

Because D.C. is not a state, those same riders can be imposed on the city, and it was in 2015 that Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) inserted the rider prohibiting local lawmakers from moving forward on legalizing marijuana sales. That followed the approval by D.C. voters of Initiative 71, which legalized personal use, possession, home cultivation, and gifting of small amounts of marijuana.

D.C. officials have since argued that not only is the Harris Rider an affront to the city’s ability to govern itself, but it has trapped it in an increasingly untenable legal situation. Initiative 71 has created a growing industry of vendors, stores, and services that “gift” marijuana, but the Harris Rider has prevented the city from being able to tax or regulate them in any way. [Read more at DCist]

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