Many in the marijuana industry, along with advocates for cannabis, are encouraged by remarks Friday by President Trump, who said he’s inclined to support a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress on Thursday that would end the federal ban on marijuana.
“It’s been interesting though, because we have these issues of education, our roads, public health, and I think that medical and recreational have a place, and could contribute to society,” said Steve Schapiro, owner of Superior Dispensary.
As it currently stands, the federal ban puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin, and it has created problems with roughly 24 states that have legalized pot in some form. One problem includes banks unwilling to work with some dispensaries, creating an issue for where business owners can put their income.
“It will help tremendously. For instance, banking. It’s been on of the biggest issues that dispensaries have to deal with,” said Shapiro. “It’s not illegal. They’re threatened to not do business with us.”
The legislation would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana, although some U.S. restrictions would remain, including recreational sales to people under 21.
Alex Gentry with the group Safer Arizona says this would be big in helping voters in Arizona see the benefits. The group is getting signatures now to get a measure on the issue on the November ballot.
“If a university or anyone else came in and wanted to do research, they would absolutely be bale to do that, like it is now,” said Gentry.