As the marijuana industry grows and makes strides in the legalization of the substance, the legislation surrounding marijuana continues to significantly impact businesses in the market. Most recently, the House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE Act at the beginning of December 2020. As Ritter Spencer specializes in marijuana, cannabis, and CBD law, our experts explain what the MORE Act states and what it means for the marijuana industry.
What does the MORE Act state?
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act is a historic piece of legislation that introduces specific guidelines that outline a promising path for the future of the marijuana industry. This act would deschedule cannabis and decriminalize the substance at the federal level. Additionally, the MORE Act enacts several criminal and social justice reforms funded by a 5% tax on cannabis products and includes the expungement of prior cannabis-related convictions. While this piece of legislation is subject to multiple revisions as it passes through the Senate, the MORE Act signifies a nationwide shift in the perception of marijuana products and outlines the future of a growing legal cannabis market.
What does the MORE Act mean for the marijuana industry’s future?
The MORE Act is designed to eventually end adult criminalization for cannabis by removing it from the list of controlled substances. However, as this piece of legislation would eventually deschedule cannabis and decriminalize it at the federal level, this does not mean that the substance immediately becomes legal across the country. Rather, each state would be responsible for the regulation of marijuana. Specifically, as the MORE Act indicates expungement for cannabis-related convictions, not all convictions are subject to expungement immediately. While all nonviolent juvenile convictions would be expunged automatically, those with nonviolent federal marijuana convictions are eligible for, but not instantly guaranteed, expungement. Under this act, only states that have taken action in expunging cannabis-related convictions will have access to certain federal funds.
Additionally, marijuana is still subject to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations under the MORE act. Legal use of the substance will continue to require approval before being added to foods and dietary supplements, which is currently challenging to obtain. However, while the MORE Act is still subject to changes and revisions as it passes through the Senate, cannabis activists view this historic piece of legislature as a promising step towards a future with an open legal cannabis market.
Chelsie Spencer, a cannabis lawyer in Dallas, Texas, remains active in the marijuana space and provides legal counsel to a range of cannabis businesses. With years of experience in cannabis law, the experts at Ritter Spencer offer a unique perspective on the growing legal cannabis market and can determine what the MORE Act means for your company. Contact Ritter Spencer or give us a call at 214.295.5070 for more information.