MORE Act advances through House committee

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The cannabis reform bill is gaining legs again, but there’s still no clear path to the finish line

It looks like the week is closing with big news for the marijuana industry after it was reported that a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level and promote social equity passed a key House committee yesterday. This could be an important step toward long-awaited reform.

Representative Jerrold Nadler is the sponsor of the legislation and says he is pleased that the outcome was what he had hoped for. The House Judiciary Committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Elimination (MORE) Act in a 26-15 vote. The tally came down heavily along party lines. Virtually all Democrats said yes to the measure, while only two Republicans voted against it.

“This long overdue and historic legislation would reverse failed federal policies criminalizing marijuana. It would also take steps to address the heavy toll this policy has taken across the country, particularly among communities of color,” Nadler said in opening remarks. “I have long believed that the criminalization of marijuana has been a mistake. The racially disparate enforcement of marijuana laws has only made it worse, with serious consequences, particularly for communities of color.”

This news comes just days after a defense spending bill that includes an amendment to protect banks that provide services to legal marijuana businesses received the approval of the full House. This just means that everything seems to be going great for the industry on legalization issues nationwide, which may turn out to be a complete game-changer. While there are many experts who say that reform is not close to happening, the actions that are currently happening are indicating the complete opposite.