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US House of Representatives votes to remove marijuana from controlled substances act- now what?

Published: Dec 14, 2020 by John Izzo

On December 4, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would no longer make marijuana a controlled substance, allowing for a shared Federal and State regulatory system.  The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act passed in the House with 222 of 228 Democrats voting in favor of it, while only 5 of 163 Republicans voted in favor.  This would also open the door for more financial institutions to work with legal cannabusinesses. 

It is likely this bill will not be passed in the US Senate.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has said that lawmakers should be focusing on providing relief from the coronavirus pandemic.  McConnell is also a longtime opponent of legalizing marijuana.

In addition, Congress adjourns on January 3.  Any bill that hasn’t been signed into law by this time will have to be reintroduced.  That means the process will begin anew in the House, and if passed will move onto the Senate again. 

The Federal Government will have to act sooner rather than later when it comes to the status of cannabis.  Fifteen states current allow recreational use of marijuana, with four of those added in November 2020.  In addition, thirty-four states allow medical marijuana. 

If you have any questions about medical marijuana in Ohio, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovernJohn Izzo of Graff & McGovern can be reached at 614-228-5800, extension 5, or johnizzo@grafflaw.com.