On September 29, 2021, the House Judiciary Committee held a mark-up session of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE), which not only would de-classify cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic under the CSA and would remove criminal penalties for those who manufacture, distribute, or possess marijuana but also, among other things, would provide for 5% of the federal taxes on cannabis to support programs for those affected by the war on drugs.

This comes on the heels of activities earlier this month – the U.S. House of Representatives approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which includes the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment. The SAFE Banking Act would enable financial institutions to provide basic financial services such as checking accounts, loans, and payroll services to state-legal marijuana businesses. Currently, because many cannabis businesses are cash-operated, they are more susceptible to criminal activity. This is the fifth time that the House has approved bipartisan marijuana banking reform.

With Democrats controlling the Senate, optimism abounds for those in the industry.

This article appeared in the September 2021 issue of MarkIt to Market®. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.