Many cannabis advocates have expressed concern, as both the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention hardly mentioned any discussion of cannabis during their respective weeks in August. Despite the lack of information from the administrations of both political parties, the House of Representatives is set to consider descheduling cannabis at the federal level on September 21.
According to emails and certain hints from House members, the House may be planning to discuss the MORE Act (which stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement) later this month. Marijuana Moment cites Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as the source for this information. Hoyer stated in a letter that there would be various challenges ahead for the House in September, including cannabis legislation, in regards to the MORE Act. “I’m pleased to bring the MORE Act to the House Floor next month to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level,” Hoyer told Marijuana Moment. “This legislation is an important step to correct the disproportionate impact our criminal justice system has had on communities of color.”
According to Marijuana Business Daily, the MORE Act currently has 87 co-sponsors in the House, and it is likely that it could pass in that chamber. All co-sponsors are Democrats, except Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is Republican. However, the MORE Act is not expected to pass in the Senate this year, and especially not prior to the November 3 election.
Republicans failed to write a new platform for cannabis legislation for the upcoming election, and the Democratic platform didn’t make any waves on the issue. If presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the presidency, progress on cannabis is expected to take the spotlight, even though Biden doesn’t appear to be a notably pro-cannabis candidate. “With Kamala Harris as the V.P., I think she’ll pull Biden along,” said David Mangone, director of policy and government affairs for The Liaison Group.
If President Trump takes office once more, there may be significantly less certainty about the future of legal cannabis. However, experts say the last four years have revealed that he would be likely to continue a hands-off policy toward legal cannabis markets.