While the Michigan Senate recently passed the Clean Slate Initiative, the seven-bill package that would completely change Michigan expungement and criminal convictions laws, there is still a need for the expungement of federal cannabis-related convictions.
The MORE Act is an important piece of federal legislation that would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), while simultaneously enacting several criminal and social justice reforms.
These reforms include the expungement of prior nonviolent federal cannabis-related convictions, and reviews of sentences for those currently incarcerated for federal cannabis convictions.
In addition to this, cannabis would be taxed at 5 percent. The tax revenue would help fund reform projects, including an Office of Cannabis Justice within the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.
This office would work to guarantee the implementation of the various programs and reforms.
The MORE Act Progress
A vote by the U.S. House of Representatives was expected in September; however, this has been delayed. The vote is now expected to take place in November.
What is the The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking (SAFE) Act?
The SAFE Banking act would create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses.
Additional protections for cannabis service providers and ancillary businesses would form. This would expand the financial services available to the cannabis industry and provide protections for banks.
The SAFE Banking Act Status
The House of Representatives included the SAFE Banking act in the latest COVID-10 relief package proposal.
The new legislation is called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act marks important progress in the cannabis industry.
Most states that have legalized cannabis deemed cannabis services to be essential during the pandemic; however, because of federal prohibition, small cannabis businesses were unable to obtain relief funds.
The House of Representatives approved the bill in a vote of 214-207 on Oct. 1st. The bill will likely not be voted on by the Senate, however, until bipartisan support is reached.
Why These Bills Are Necessary Now
While providing support to small essential businesses during the pandemic, the cannabis industry has simultaneously been impacted by the wildfires on the west coast.
In addition to the tragic human and environmental losses, many entrepreneurs have also lost their livelihoods.
The Oregon Liquor Commission Control has monitored the ongoing crisis and confirm that 12 dispensaries in Oregon have been destroyed.
Due to federal prohibition, it has been up to the industry to organize relief for those businesses that have been affected.