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Congress Reauthorizes Cannabis Protections

Provisions included in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill will continue to limit the federal government from taking punitive action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting are in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states.

The provisions reauthorize Section 538 of the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which states, "None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used ... to prevent ... states ... from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."

Senate backed amendments seeking to permit military veterans access to medical cannabis and to permit state-licensed marijuana business greater access to banking services were not included in the final version of the spending bill.

Members of Congress are anticipated to approve the omnibus spending measure imminently.


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