With the current federal budget set to expire Friday, speculation has swirled in Washington DC over whether Congress will once again reach a deal to keep the old budget in place temporarily and prevent the U.S. government from shutting down.
Medical marijuana businesses have good reason to pay attention: If the previous budget is not extended – as it has already been multiple times this year – it means the federal protections of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment will also evaporate.
Specifically, the amendment – previously known as Rohrabacher-Farr – prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with medical marijuana laws in states that have legalized MMJ.
The amendment does not protect state recreational marijuana laws or businesses.
Although 66 members of the House of Representatives last month called on congressional leadership to ensure the extension of the amendment, no such guarantee has yet been made.
But if Congress winds up passing another continuing resolution to keep the existing budget in place for a few weeks or longer, it will again extend Rohrabacher-Blumenauer.
At least temporarily.