Here’s what the midterm congressional election results could mean for federal cannabis reform

The composition of the 118th Congress is still beingr figured out as votes continue to be counted in key races following Tuesday’s midterm elections—but no matter how it ultimately shakes out, there will be significant implications for federal cannabis reform efforts.

If the goal is to advance comprehensive cannabis legalization, the political forecast doesn’t appear especially positive, as it seems unlikely that Democrats—who have generally led on the issue—will retain or expand their majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate. But advocates say that alternative outcomes wouldn’t necessarily spell doom for cannabis reform in 2023.

The current expectation of many analysts is that Republicans will take control of the House—with some saying that it’s just a question of by what margin they do so. The situation in the Senate is less certain, especially with a seat in Georgia heading to a runoff next month after none of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote.

With most Senate races already called at this point, Democrats need to win two more seats out of a remaining three to secure at least 50 that will give them an effective majority with the vice president serving as the tie breaker.

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