With all the headlines explaining the proposed Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) this summer, it was nice to see some action on cannabis reform from a high-profile U.S. House committee this week.
But it wasn’t the CAOA, which has yet to be formally introduced in Congress.
It was the MORE Act, a similarly comprehensive piece of legislation first introduced in 2019. The U.S. House has approved this bill before, but it’s still heartening to see it progress once again through the committee process.
“By advancing the MORE Act, the House will demonstrate that the majority of our political leaders are ready to correct this injustice and enact cannabis policy reform that undoes the harms that have been inflicted upon millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in a public statement.
Indeed. This is more than mere symbolism, but the symbolism is still important. That idea that the House “will demonstrate” the political inclinations of the people is vital to the ongoing rush of progress our industry has seen in recent years.
It’s not a done deal by any means, and it’s far from a unanimous rallying cry for a federally legal cannabis industry. Support for legalization among the U.S. electorate is up—way up—but the rest of the story has yet to be told. This week’s major MORE Act vote is just one more step forward.
We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.
- With a 26-15 vote, the House Judiciary Committee passed the MORE Act Thursday evening, giving a major boost to the comprehensive cannabis reform legislation first introduced in 2019. Read more
- The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division published proposed rules for adult-use manufacturers, retailers and couriers Sept. 28, and will seek public comment before adopting final regulations. Read more
- Associate Editor Tony Lange reports on the latest in Pennsylvania. Key pillars of a newly introduced bill include: creating access and opportunity for diverse businesses, individuals and communities; enhancing social and economic equity; and providing provisions for automatic criminal justice reform. Read more
- Mississippi lawmakers have been working on legislation to legalize medical cannabis to restore the will of their constituents after the state’s Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved medical cannabis ballot measure in May. They’ve reached a deal. Read more
- To celebrate California's legal cannabis industry, the California Exhibition & State Fair has partnered with Cultivar Brands to host its first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis competition and awards ceremony next year. Read more
And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:
- KTVU: In California, “Alameda County sheriff's detectives say an 18-month investigation has resulted in the seizure of upwards of $10 million in cash, up to 500,000 marijuana plants, 6 tons of processed marijuana valued at $42 million, and a cache of weapons.” Read more
- Philadelphia Inquirer: “In South Jersey, 40 of 100 municipalities have opened their doors to cannabis businesses within their borders under New Jersey’s legalization law.” Read more
- ClickonDetroit: “Former NBA start and Detroit’s own Chris Webber was back in town Tuesday for his latest business venture: A $50 million cannabis facility on 22nd Street in Corktown.” Read more
- Politico: “Cannabis entrepreneurs spent decades longing for Washington’s blessing — but now a vocal corner of the industry is afraid federal marijuana legalization poses an existential threat.” Read more
- Chula Vista Star News: “This month, March and Ash opened its new storefront at 684 Telegraph Canyon Road, with plans for its official grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 9. … March and Ash operates retail cannabis dispensaries throughout San Diego and Imperial counties since the opening of its flagship location in Mission Valley that opened in 2018.” Read more