November 21, 2019
In this alert, we explore the potential impacts of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed by a vote of 24–10, signaling continued government support toward broader cannabis reform.
On November 20, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, by a vote of 24-10, with two Republicans joining the Democratic majority. The MORE Act is comprehensive and aims to correct historical injustices created by other drug policies, which disproportionally impacted communities of color and low-income communities. The MORE Act does the following:
The passage of the MORE Act through the Judiciary Committee is significant because it signals an appetite by many in Congress to continue the push toward broader marijuana reform, which began in earnest in September with the passage in the House of the SAFE Banking Act. While the SAFE Act passed the House with strong bipartisan support, it is less clear that the MORE Act, and the goal of decriminalizing marijuana, together with funding restorative justice programs, will attract significant Republican support in the House. That being said, if the MORE Act is brought to the floor for a vote, it very likely will pass the House. On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Kamala Harris has introduced a companion bill to the MORE Act, but there has been no action on it in the Senate Judiciary Committee. With attention in the Senate likely focused more on finding a compromise to pass a cannabis banking bill along the lines of the SAFE Act, passage of the more sweeping MORE Act seems less plausible at this time.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.
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