The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) is one of three prominent bills aimed at broad federal cannabis legislation that was introduced this Congress. It is expected to be the first bill to receive a floor vote.
The bill, which aims remove cannabis from the U.S.A., was sponsored and sponsored by Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The Controlled Substance Act, which was first introduced in July 2019, was passed by full chamber via a 228-162 vote in December 2020. This was the first time that a full Congress voted on a comprehensive cannabis decriminalization bill.
RELATED: U.S. House passes MORE Act
But the previous version of the bill ultimately made it nowhere in the Senate with then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the driver’s seat.
Now, the House Rules Committee has announced March 24 that they will Hold a hearingThe current version of the MORE Act can be found here House Bill 3617March 28th, 2002 at 2:05 p.m. Additionally, the legislation was also placed onto the House calendarThe full chamber is expected to consider the following week’s bills.
These announcements follow more than 20 chief executives of top cannabis companies and state and advocacy group leaders meeting with 60 congressional leaders last Wednesday in Washington, D.C. to urge them to take immediate action on reform. Steven Hawkins, the CEO of U.S. Cannabis Council was among those leading the charge on Capitol Hill.
“We are encouraged by today’s developments in Congress,”Hawkins stated this in a statement dated March 24, 2007. “The House is moving toward passage of the MORE Act, which would deschedule cannabis, and the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would expand cannabis research in the United States. Next month, we expect the Senate will introduce its own descheduling proposal.”
The Senate bill, which made headway Thursday was the Act for the Expansion of Marihuana and Cannabidiol ResearchThe full upper chamber unanimously approved the legislation. Incremental Reform, which is part of the legislation, aims at ensuring that research on CBD, and other potentially beneficial cannabin-derived substances, is based on “sound science”While lowering regulatory barriers associated with cannabis research.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.
“Current rules and regulations make it hard for researchers to study how marijuana and marijuana-derived medications can best be used to treat various conditions,” Feinstein said in a March 24 press release. “This important legislation will cut the red tape around the research process, helping get FDA-approved, marijuana-derived medications safely to patients.”
Although cannabis reform advocates have won many victories, broad legalization efforts are still a key focus for the industry.
The MORE Act proposes to impose an additional 5% federal tax on cannabis sales, and redistribute those revenues for programs that would assist communities adversely affected.
The legislation would also retroactively exonerate past cannabis convictions at a federal level.
In a press release, Nadler stated that the MORE Act was reintroduced in May 2021. “I’m proud to reintroduce the MORE Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the needless burden of marijuana convictions on so many Americans, and invest in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.”
In September, the House Judiciary Committee (which Nadler chairs) voted 26 to 15. The House Rules Committee hearing on March 28 would be the last hurdle that the legislation must clear before it can be sent to the full chamber.
As part of broad reform efforts in Congress, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, (CAOA), is being introduced next month by Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., and Ron Wyden and Cory Booker, D.Ore.
In November, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) introduced the States Reform Act. Her bill provides a path to reform and includes a 3% federal cannabis tax. It also gives state governments the power and authority to regulate cannabis products through any health-and safety oversights they choose. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is authorized to oversee cannabis products in interstate commerce.
Hawkins stated that incremental reform efforts such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE) are still important.
“There is undoubtedly much more work to be done before anything reaches President Biden’s desk, but today’s actions strongly signal that Congress is committed to making concrete progress on cannabis this session,”He said so Thursday. “The sheer number of proposals—spanning legalization, research, veterans affairs, criminal justice, banking and beyond—is a strength, not a weakness. We believe America’s system of cannabis prohibition will be dismantled with a thousand cuts, not in one fell swoop.”