On Friday, a memo briefing to the effect that when the legislative session starts this week, a Congressional committee would be debating two legislations seeking to legalize marijuana at the federal level as well as other marijuana research legislations.
On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on several reform proposals, with testimonies from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) witnesses.
This comes two months after the House Judiciary Committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which was sponsored by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The MORE Act is one of the bills being taken up by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on January 15.
The obtained memo starts by detailing the content of the marijuana policy in the U.S., such as the restrictions imposed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) on marijuana research, legalization of industrial hemp, petitions submitted in the past seeking for marijuana rescheduling, and public health issues.
Some of the witnesses for the scheduled hearing include Matthew Strait, who is the DEA Senior Policy Advisor, FDA Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs Douglas Throckmorton, and the Director of NIDA Nora Volkov.
Discussed below are some of the bills which will be debated next week.
Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act
The MORE Act aims to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances Act. It is also seeking for expungement of the records of past marijuana convictions, as well as imposing a five percent tax on marijuana sales. Revenues from the sales would be reinvested in communities most affected by the war against drugs.
The MORE Act would also create a way for resentencing people jailed for marijuana felonies. It would also ensure that immigrants are not denied citizenship because of marijuana. The bill has provisions to ensure that weed users are not blocked from receiving public benefits and security clearance by federal agencies.
Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act
The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). The bill’s provisions are to deschedule marijuana at the federal level, create a fund that supports minorities and marijuana businesses owned by women as well as providing grants to marijuana ex-convicts.
Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019
It was sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The bill seeks approval of more manufacturers of research-grade cannabis, protects institutions researching weed, and gives permission to the Department of Veteran Affairs in the U.S. to present patients with the option of treating their conditions using marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019
A bipartisan group of House members led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the legislation. It has provisions simplifying the process of registration for researchers interested in studying marijuana. It also permits private manufacturers to supply researchers with research-grade marijuana.
Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act
It was introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA). It aims at moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. It also aims at clarifying that transportation, use, possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana cannot be prohibited by the federal government.
Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act
It was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). Its aim is to allow military veterans to use, possess, or transport medical pot under federal law. Veteran Affairs doctors would also be permitted to recommend medical marijuana to their patients.
It would be eye-opening to hear what industry actors like Sproutly Canada Inc. (CSE: SPR) (OTCQB: SRUTF) (FRA: 38G) and Grapefruit Boulevard Investments Inc. (OTCQB: IGNG) think of the odds that those bills will make it through both legislative chambers and become law.
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