A key chairman plans to reintroduce a bill to federally legalize marijuana and promote social equity in the industry as early as next week in the House, and its text will contain at least two notable changes compared to the last version of the legislation, Marijuana Moment has learned.
The news comes as advocates eagerly anticipate the filing of a separate cannabis reform bill being planned by Senate leaders.
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), cleared the chamber in a historic vote last year but did not advance in the Senate under GOP control. According to an email thread from advocacy groups that Marijuana Moment obtained, it’s set to be refiled as soon next week with some new provisions.
Four sources familiar with the strategy also said their understanding is that Nadler plans to introduce the revised legislation ahead of Congress’s Memorial Day recess, though a spokesperson in the chairman’s office was not able to confirm details by press time.
The new bill will not include language that was added just before last year’s House floor vote that would have prevented people with previous cannabis convictions from obtaining federal permits to operate marijuana businesses. That was a contentious provision that appeared at the last minute and which advocates strongly opposed.
And whereas the the prior version of the MORE Act contained language to help economically disadvantaged people enter the legal marijuana market, that language is being revised to extend Small Business Administration (SBA) aid—such as loans, financial literacy programs and job training—to help people who have been harmed by the war on drugs pursue business opportunities in any industry, not just cannabis.
While advocates are encouraged by the revisions, there are still additional components they hope to see changed