We want to share with you the news about the commencement of the Legislative Process for the legalization of Cannabis. This definitely supports our prediction that the national prohibitions relating to our industry will be lifted in 2021. Every journey begins with the first step – and that is what has now happened. This legislation (the MORE Act) would remove federal prohibitions and yield to the individual states the ability to define their own Cannabis laws. Here is a copy of a letter just received (November 21) from Neal Levine, CEO of the Cannabis Trade Federation.
Earlier today, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first-ever vote in Congress to end cannabis prohibition at the federal level. The bill passed out of committee by a margin of 24-10, with Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) joining 22 Democrats in support. It can be brought to the House floor for a vote once it has been waived or considered by each of the seven additional committees to which it has been referred.
The MORE Act (H.R.3884) would, among other purposes, remove cannabis from the federal drug schedules of the Controlled Substances Act, provide for expungement of federal cannabis convictions, and establish a 5% excise tax on cannabis to fund various grant programs. In addition to ensuring cannabis consumers and businesses are treated fairly under the law, it would bolster state and industry efforts to promote diversity within the cannabis business community, while helping communities and individuals adversely impacted by the war on drugs.
During debate on amendments, ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) spoke passionately in support of allowing states to determine their own cannabis policies, and there appeared to be a consensus among both parties that the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws is untenable and needs to be resolved. While the Georgia Republican did not vote in favor of the primarily Democratic-backed MORE Act, he urged members of the committee to work in a bipartisan manner to push legislation through this Congress. CTF’s federal lobbying team plans to capitalize on this momentum, and we will be working with our Republican and Democratic allies to advance bipartisan solutions.
Collins noted his home state does not have a thriving cannabis industry yet, and he referenced his recent trip to Colorado as a significant factor in his evolution on cannabis policy. CTF served as a key resource for the congressman during his visit, coordinating meetings with leaders of CTF member businesses and tours of their facilities. If you are not a CTF member and want to help us continue this type of work — and participate in these types of activities in the future — I encourage you to join CTF today. If you are already a member, please forward this email to any cannabis industry professionals you know who are not.
A solid majority of Americans support ending cannabis prohibition, and we’re finally seeing that reflected in a vote on Capitol Hill. This is thanks in large part to people like you taking direct action and supporting our efforts. We thank you for all you have done thus far, and we hope you will continue to lend your voice to this fight.