Federal spending bill extends state marijuana protections

Emily Gray Brosious

May 1, 2017: 11:45 AM CT

Various types of marijuana are on display at Private Organic Therapy, a nonprofit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, California, October 19, 2009. (Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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Omnibus spending bill includes protections for state-legal marijuana.

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This week’s federal spending deal includes a provision that extends protections for states that have legalized cannabis despite federal drug laws, The Hill reports.

The spending agreement, which was finalized by appropriators Sunday night, includes language preventing the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state-legal marijuana laws. The bill also includes language that supports industrial hemp research under Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Medical marijuana patients and the businesses that support them now have a measure of certainty,” U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said in a release. “But this annual challenge must end. We need permanent protections for state-legal medical marijuana programs, as well as adult-use.”

The omnibus spending bill is expected to be passed by Congress this week and would extend marijuana protections through September 30, 2017.

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