In a recent announcement, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to have its Judiciary Committee vote on the MORE Act next week.

The MORE Act, also known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, decriminalizes marijuana by removing “marijuana from the list  of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.”

The bill also makes the following changes, according to the legislation’s summary:

  • replaces statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis
  • requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees, 
  • establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs, 
  • imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and requires revenues to be deposited into the trust fund, 
  • makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers, 
  • prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions, 
  • prohibits the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (e.g., conduct or a conviction), 
  • establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and
  • directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization.

If passed by the House Judiciary Committee, the MORE Act will require a waiver by various House committees in order to receive a vote on the floor of the House.

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