The MORE Act, which the House Judiciary Committee passed Wednesday, is the first legalization bill to get a Congressional vote.
The Act would deschedule and legalize cannabis with strong equity provisions, from expungement to opening up loan programs for small business owners.
Sen. Diane Feinstein asked if vaping can “bring on death” as lawmakers consider publishing a paper on the health impacts of cannabis.
The bipartisan legislation passed 321-103, and now heads to the Senate.
Lawmakers say the bill, which has strong bi-partisan support and 206 co-sponsors, has enough votes to pass.
The bill will “allow rural entrepreneurs an opportunity to start to grow their businesses and create much-needed jobs,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday.
“This anti-immigrant agenda from the Trump administration stands in contrast to the policies of dozens of states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana.”
The push could give CBD-based food additives and dietary supplements the green light.
There are close to sixty cannabis-related bills pending consideration in Congress, and some have serious support.
Officials from three federal agencies updated a Senate committee on their progress in drafting regulations for hemp production and products.
Both advocates and enemies of the SAFE Banking Act got to make their case.
Lawmakers and witnesses argue that done properly, legalization could right some historic wrongs.
At a congressional hearing, the VA refused to support any of the four bills under consideration calling for more research and access. But the advocates see an alternative to opioids.
Hindered by a lack of access to loans and banking services, owners hope for help from the Small Business Administration.
The “cannabis industry is here to stay,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
The bill could offer some cannabis banking protections and would allow the District of Columbia to legalize adult use sales.