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A sneak peek at the Republican-led States Reform Act

The States Reform Act hasn’t been introduced yet, but thanks to Insider, we can take a closer look at what’s being proposed in South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace’s cannabis legalization bill. 

Treated like alcohol

The bill would regulate cannabis much like alcohol. Cannabis would no longer be included in the Controlled Substances Act, and the minimum age to buy would be 21. The regulator for adult-use would also be the same — the Tax and Trade Bureau (although the Food and Drug Administration would regulate medical cannabis). And similar to hemp or hops, the US Department of Agriculture would regulate cultivation.

Tax talk

The excise tax would be set at three per cent under the proposed Cannabis Revenue Act. That would bring an anticipated $4 billion over 10 years, and it wouldn’t increase within that time. A portion of those funds (to be decided by Congress) would be earmarked for something called the Law Enforcement Retraining and Successful Second Chances Fund, which would assist people who have been incarcerated, veterans, people with opioid addiction, small business and community police forces.

Equity and cross-border trade

The bill would allow for a permit for interstate commerce, with details to be formed by the secretary of the Treasury, such as seed-to-sale tracking. Like any other business, cannabis companies could apply for loans.

And perhaps surprisingly, the States Reform Act would also expunge the criminal records for nonviolent cannabis crimes with a few exceptions, such as DUIs or involvement with international drug cartels. Pending charges and convictions for nonviolent cannabis crimes would be dropped, and those incarcerated would be released within 14 days.

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