On Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee passed the “Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement” (MORE) Act (H.R. 3884) in a 24-10 vote, setting the stage for a full floor vote.  The vote saw two Republicans, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) and Tom McClintock (R-California), join the Democrats in support of the bill. The bill would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, allow states to set their own marijuana policy and require federal courts to expunge prior convictions for marijuana offenses.  

A 5% tax on marijuana products would also establish a trust fund for programs designed to help people disproportionately impacted by the "war on drugs," including job training and treatment for substance abuse. Taking marijuana off of the controlled substance list is crucial for cannabis banking advocates because de-scheduling the plant would effectively accomplish the same goals as the previously reported on “Secure And Fair Enforcement” (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 1595).  However, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York) acknowledged that the legislation could be difficult to secure passage in the Republican-controlled Senate.