The Future of Cannabis Won’t be Decided by the Feds. It’s the Locals.

Nationwide, cannabis companies and advocates are hailing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act as the savior of the future of cannabis (a copy of the bill is here). If the Act passes, we will finally have federal legalization and the consequences of the current federal conflict will end, or, at least be reversed in the minority of states that continue to outlaw the plant locally.

Such a development would, of course, be huge– with IRC 280E no longer an issue; cannabis companies would have the unfettered ability to secure banking outside of the 2014 FinCEN Guidelines, which means no more all-cash transactions; they would have the ability to raise institutional capital without the threat of criminal liability; etc etc. However, even if the Act passes (and chances of that happening appear slimmer by the month), what’s not going to change (probably forever) is the power of local governments to make or break America’s cannabis businesses.

For the longest time, I’ve preached that the states are in total control of these unique democratic experiments, and they definitely are where they control license categories, compliance standards, taxes, reporting requirements, etc., but that power is ultimately limited by cities and counties. And the

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