-Newly Signed $1 Trillion Spending Bill Includes Key Protections for Medical Cannabis
– Safeguards for State Laws that Have Passed Medical Cannabis Initiatives
AmeriCann, Inc. (OTCQX: ACAN), an Agricultural-Technology company that is developing sustainable, state-of-the-art medical cannabis cultivation properties discussed the recently enacted federal spending bill and its implications for medical cannabis.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.1 trillion bill that includes a provision that is intended to prevent the Justice Department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to arrest or prosecute patients, caregivers, and businesses that are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.
"It is significant that the very first piece of major legislation signed into law by the new administration protects medical marijuana patients and the states that have approved medical cannabis," stated AmeriCann CEO Tim Keogh. "The continuation of bipartisan policies that preserve patient access to cannabis is very positive."
Section 537 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 states that, "None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to any of the (regulated) States…to prevent any of them from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."
"Congress appears to be growing increasingly comfortable with states adopting their own marijuana policies," said Robert Capecchi, Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.
The provision that allows states to implement their own cannabis laws was first approved by the House in May 2014. The provision stems from an amendment originally sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA). Congress has extended the current version of the Rohrabacher – Farr Amendment thru September 2017, but many experts agree that the upcoming 2017 spending bill will continue with the established cannabis protections.
AmeriCann is developing a 53-acre property in Massachusetts as the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center (the "MMCC"). The MMCC is approved for 1 million square feet which will be developed in phases and is expected to be one of the most technologically advanced cultivation facilities in the nation.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released on February 23rd, 2017 shows that 93% of Americans support medical marijuana. With the results of the November 2016 election results, over 60% of the US Population now live in states where medical cannabis is now legal. Of the 28 states that have implemented legal cannabis programs, only 8 have approved Adult-Use.