Amazon Endorses New Bill To Federally Legalize Marijuana.

By <b>Evan Lipford</b>

By Evan Lipford

legal marijuana and cannabis amazon pushing to legalize with new bill

There is no longer a debate about “if” marijuana will become federally legal, the only questions left to answer are “when” and “how”.

In a move that is sure to stir up public conversation, Amazon has officially endorsed the States Reform Act, a Republican-led bill that will legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana at the federal level. Endorsing bills that focus on making marijuana federally legal is nothing new to Amazon, as they also publicly endorsed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act in 2021, a Democrat-led bill.

Amazon has also led the charge in changing big businesses’ archaic practice of drug testing for cannabis by reforming their policy and declining to screen workers for THC in all positions outside of those regulated by the Department of Transportation. To announce the news, which broke in the middle of 2021, Amazon posted an update to their news website that said Amazon will “no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use.” In addition to reforming their policy going forward, Amazon also announced that their policy change would be retroactive, meaning that any employees that had their position terminated due to testing positive for THC are eligible for rehire.

As the race to federally legalize marijuana continues to heat up, we expect lobbying from big businesses to spill over into the national news as PR departments are doing their best to position their respective companies in a way that will lead to bigger profits after the legalization.

Big business improving profits from the legalization of cannabis does not have to come from growing, selling, transporting, or marketing it. Federal legalization will open up the hiring pool by a large margin, bringing the potential for more talent to job searches, which can ultimately improve a business’s bottom line. Nancy Mace, the congresswoman who introduced the States Reform Act is on record saying “they don’t want to sell it” adding that Amazon is interested in backing the bill for hiring purposes because “it opens up the hiring pool by about 10 percent.”

Although the recent moves by Amazon and the optimism of industry stakeholders are a good sign, the legalization of cannabis ultimately depends on patching the partisan gap, and Mace’s State Reform Act may be a decent attempt at doing so. The bill incorporates equity-driven provisions that the Democrats want to see, including expungement of criminal records for “offenders” with non-violent charges stemming from cannabis.

With the MORE act clearing the House Judiciary Committee in September with a 26-15 vote, it is an expectation that Senate leadership is gearing up to introduce another cannabis legalization act that is a follow-up to the draft version released in 2021.

It is hard to predict which piece of legislation will ultimately pass, but momentum is headed in the right direction. When cannabis is finally federally legalized, it will be a win for everyone. Our team here at Commerce Puzzle will continue to keep you updated.

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Written By
Evan <b>Lipford</b>

Evan Lipford

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