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Cannabis Reform on the Move in Congress with MORE Act

MAY 28, 2021

It stands to reason that the advancement of cannabis reform bodes well for hemp!  After Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) introduced the MORE (Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment & Expungement) Act in 2020, numerous states have gone on to legalize cannabis, including his own. Recognizing the economic and social benefits of a new legislative framework that would take cannabis out of the federal Controlled Substances Act, Rep. Nadler and the Cannabis Caucus re-introduced the MORE Act on May 28.

Organizations like Human Rights Watch were quick to support the move, along with big employers like Amazon, which has a history of disqualifying potential employees who test positive for marijuana use.  Further reforms contained in the MORE Act include:

  1. Facilitating the expungement of low-level, federal marijuana convictions, and incentivizing state and local governments to take similar actions;

  2. Creating pathways for ownership opportunities in the emerging regulated industry as well as other sectors of the economy for local and diversely-reflective entrepreneurs who have been impacted under prohibition through the Small Business Administration grant eligibility;

  3. Allowing veterans, for the first time, to obtain medical cannabis recommendations from their VA doctors;

  4. Removing the threat of deportation for immigrants accused of minor marijuana infractions or who are gainfully employed in the state-legal cannabis industry;

  5. Providing critical reinvestment grant opportunities for communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of marijuana-related enforcement actions.

A world in which the hysteria over THC has subsided can only forge a more positive pathway for the hemp industry.  This is the type of legislative change that can help set the stage for a better process for hemp as it transitions from contraband to agricultural commodity.  Getting past the reefer madness means that more realistic, scientifically-backed discourse can take place on the advancement of our crop, especially with the highly problematic legal definition of 0.3% THC.  The campaign to move past this industry-stifling and unachievable standard has the potential to shift gears in a big way once the MORE Act is signed into law.

It’s heartening to see that cannabis is on the move in Congress!

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