President Biden’s commerce secretary deflected a reporter’s marijuana question on Monday, saying that the issue is “so far afield from anything that I’m working on” for the administration as she focuses on other priorities like trade and supply chain management. During an interview with Politico on the Biden agenda, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was asked about the president’s unfulfilled promise to decriminalize cannabis, as well as concerns that some stakeholders have voiced about the market impact of broad descheduling when it comes to opening up interstate commerce. The cabinet member gave a short answer, saying the issue is not currently a part of her workload and so she doesn’t have “any updates for you on that.” Raimondo, who left her job as governor of Rhode Island to join the Biden administration, used to put significant thought into marijuana policy, backing a plan in her budget request to legalize cannabis for adult use through a state-run model. Her successor, Gov. Dan McKee (D), recently proposed legalization in his budget that would fund a more conventional adult-use market. But the apparent lack of attention to cannabis policy in her new capacity is a disappointment for advocates, serving as another signal that the president and its administration are not prioritizing an issue that’s widely popular among Americans, particularly Democrats. Vice President Kamala Harris used to frequently talk about marijuana reform during her 2020 presidential campaign, for example, but she’s remained relatively silent on the topic since entering the White House. She said last year that the administration isn’t focused on following through on its marijuana reform pledges because it’s too overwhelmed with responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/02/2022 08:58:00

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