Canadian cannabis industry eyeing U.S. push for cannabis legalization

The surprise climate spending bill isn’t the only piece of marquee legislation in the U.S. Senate that’s getting a lot of Canadian attention. U.S. lawmakers are also looking at a comprehensive effort to legalize cannabis, which the legal cannabis industry north of the border would love to see become law.

Observers aren’t holding their breath that the Cannabis Authorization and Opportunity Act, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced last week, will make it that far. But David Culver, vice-president of global government relations for Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp., says the bill is an important milestone for other reasons.

Culver says as long as lawmakers in the U.S. are willing to keep pushing for legalization, the effort will ultimately make progress, even if it’s only a little at a time. He says several other smaller bipartisan bills that take a piecemeal approach to legalization have far better chances of passing before the midterm elections in November. 

“This is a historic piece of legislation in that this is the first of its type in the U.S. Senate,” Culver said in an interview. “Now that this piece is out there, it frees up the Senate to really work on legislation that is bipartisan, and I do think I could get it done before the midterm elections.”

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