Bipartisan STATES Act: Proposed Legislation to Decriminalize State-Legal Marijuana and Reshape Federal Regulations

The bipartisan legislation reintroduced in Congress on Thursday seeks to eliminate state-legal marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act while allowing individual markets to handle most other regulations. 

The latest version of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, initially proposed in 2019, surpasses the ongoing federal rescheduling review.

The Act would: 

  • Exclude marijuana produced and sold by State and Tribal law from the Controlled Substances Act. 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would further classify marijuana products for safety and marketing standards, but they would not undergo the rigorous FDA preapproval process. 
  • Interstate commerce would be legalized.
  • Federal prohibitions on distributing marijuana to those under 21 and employing individuals under 18 in cannabis-related work would remain intact. 

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon; Rep. Troy Carter, D-Louisiana; Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Oregon; and Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio.

Minnesota’s Adult Use Marijuana Launch Still on Course

Charlene Briner, the interim director contracted until Feb. 15, expressed confidence in the planned successful launch. She is confident that the significant behind-the-scenes efforts will help ensure smooth sailing. 

With plans to fill a quarter of the 120 positions at the Office of Cannabis Management by spring, Briner aims to maintain the momentum. 

Many have expressed concern due to the upheaval and scandals that have impacted the process. Erin Dupree, initially appointed as the OCM’s director in September, resigned shortly afterward due to concerns about her background, including allegations related to the sale of illegal hemp-derived products. 

Despite the challenges, Briner continues to plan on the acceptance of adult-use business license applications in the fourth quarter of 2024. Without a doubt, this is a crucial step in Minnesota’s evolving regulatory landscape for recreational marijuana and oversight of hemp-derived products under the OCM’s jurisdiction.

In the meantime, Indian reservations are actively selling adult use & the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries are actively servicing Minnesota’s marijuana card holders.