by Madeline Grant, NCIA’s Government Relations Manager
Can you believe we are already coming to the end of August? 2020 has certainly not been what we were expecting – but we will persevere together. At NCIA, we want you to know we are here for you through these unstable times and now more than ever we will stand as a united cannabis community. As members of NCIA, we appreciate your dedication and contribution to continue the good fight to reach legislative victories at the state and federal levels. With your dedication to NCIA and our dedication to you, we can continue to achieve success through education and advocacy.
As the Government Relations Manager, I want you to know we are still working continuously in D.C., with a unified message, to achieve legislative victories. Next month, the House of Representatives may vote to make cannabis legal and start repairing the harms caused by decades of failed prohibition policies. As the legislative session draws to a close and what is sure to be one of the most pivotal elections in history nears, there is a renewed effort in Congress to pass meaningful criminal justice reform before the end of the year. And this includes the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The MORE Act was introduced in the House last year by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and already made history when it became the first legislative bill to be approved by the congressional committee (House Judiciary) in November.
This legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level and eliminating the ongoing conflict with effective regulated state cannabis markets. It would also expunge federal cannabis convictions, remove barriers to research, eliminate the current problems with the 280E tax code and lack of access to banking, promote more diverse participation in the cannabis industry, and establish funds to help undo the harms that have been disproportionately inflicted on marginalized communities by the war on drugs.
Now, a growing chorus of lawmakers are calling for it to receive a floor vote in the House in September, and we need your help!
Please call your member of Congress TODAY and urge them to support the MORE Act and help bring it to a vote this year. When you call your representative’s office explain to them how important the MORE Act is to you and your business. The staffer that answers the phone is there to pass along the message to YOUR representative so the more calls they get the better.
On another note, I’d love the opportunity to chat with you over the phone or zoom to discuss the challenges you are facing in the cannabis community. As we continue to meet with Hill offices virtually, it is important to relay your stories about the difficulties you face within the cannabis industry. Real-life examples help paint the picture of the reality our cannabis businesses face every single day. This is imperative to illustrate just how necessary legislative victories, like the MORE Act, are to us. So, if you have the time please send me an email to Madeline@TheCannabisIndustry.org and I will schedule a time for us.
As we draw closer to the end of this legislative session, the NCIA team will continue to work hard to reach legislative victories. We are nearing the 10th anniversary of NCIA and have come a long way together, from legislative victories in appropriations to the SAFE Banking Act passing the House, and we will continue to reach more legislative success in the halls of Congress. We must not lose hope during these unstable times but propel forward more unified than ever before.