Federal Legislation to Decriminalize and Deschedule Marijuana and Allow Expungements Gains 93rd Sponsor

In the United States House of Representatives, legislation that would fully deschedule marijuana and allow expungement of marijuana convictions has gained its 93rd sponsor.

Yesterday, Congressmember Greg Landsman (D-OH) officially became a sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, first introduced in April 2023. This addition brings the total number of sponsors to 93, making the SAFE Banking Act the only marijuana-related bill in Congress with more sponsors (124).

The MORE Act aims to deschedule marijuana, effectively decriminalizing it on a national level. It proposes a federal excise tax of 5% on legal marijuana sales for the first two years, increasing to 8% by the fifth year. Additionally, the bill provides for the expungement of past marijuana convictions and safeguards against public benefit denials for marijuana users.

Representative Nadler has described the MORE Act as “one of the most comprehensive marijuana reform bills ever introduced in the U.S. Congress.”

In the Senate, a similar initiative called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) has 18 sponsors. The CAOA would require the U.S. Attorney General to finalize regulations to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances within 180 days of the bill’s passage. It also proposes a 5% federal excise tax on marijuana producers, increasing to 12.5% by the fifth year, and would establish the Center for Cannabis Products within the FDA to oversee “the production, labeling, distribution, sales and other manufacturing and retail elements of the cannabis industry.”

For a look at the 10 states next in line to legalize recreational marijuana, click here.

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