America’s state-legal cannabis industry has been on quite a roll for the past couple of years. More than 30 states now allow medical marijuana, 17 states have legalized recreational cannabis, and the industry has generated billions of dollars in revenue. On top of that, it has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs, providing individuals and the state with revenue during the coronavirus pandemic while other industries struggled to stay afloat. Lawmakers have now set their eyes on federal legalization, especially now that the Senate, House and White House are under the control of the Democrats.
Just a day after a cannabis banking bill that would offer protections to financial institutions that work with the industry advanced, the House Judiciary Committee announced that it will be voting on a bill to federally legalize cannabis next week. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (“MORE”) Act, which was introduced by House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrod Nadler, will probably be voted on by the committee on Wednesday. According to the press release, the panel of legislators will consider a variety of bills during the meeting including Nadler’s MORE Act.
Nadler says the main aim of his bill is to federally decriminalize cannabis and invest in the minority communities that were disproportionately harmed by the decades-long war on drugs. Considered to be an unmitigated failure by most experts, the war on drugs had catastrophic consequences on Black and Hispanic communities in America, effects that those communities are still dealing with today. The MORE Act first passed the House last year but did not advance in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. But with the Democrats controlling both the House and Senate this year, industry players and reform activists are optimistic about the legislation’s chances.
On top of removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, the MORE Act also has provisions that allow people with prior cannabis convictions to have their records expunged. It will also create a federal tax with the revenue being injected into community reinvestment and other social equity programs. Furthermore, the legislation contains language that protects immigrants from being denied U.S. citizenship because of marijuana use, prevents federal agencies from withholding benefits or security clearance over marijuana, and creates a pathway for the resentencing of individuals who are currently imprisoned due to marijuana offences.
Justin Strekal, the political director of NORML, has expressed his excitement about the bill receiving a vote at the House Judiciary Committee. With more than 30 states having already legalized cannabis and public support for marijuana at an all-time high, the vote is long overdue. The days of federal cannabis prohibition are at an end, he says.
Should federal cannabis prohibition end, the entire marijuana industry, including companies such as American Cannabis Partners, would likely heave a collective sigh of relief due to the disentanglement of many regulatory complexities the sector currently faces.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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