Companies Watch MORE Act Vote

NAPLES, Fla., April 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide on Friday. The bill, titled the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act list and decriminalize it.

While 18 states, Guam and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for adult use; the substance is still illegal nationwide. This legislation would remove the legal uncertainty that has prevented banks and investors from participating in the cannabis market.

Despite the legal “grey area,” cannabis has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Adult and medical marijuana sales hit $25 billion in 2021, according to a report by Leafly, produced in partnership with cannabis economic analysis firm Whitney Economics. Researchers also found that last year job creation in the marijuana industry hit six figures for the first time, with 107,059 new jobs, compared to 32,700 in 2019.

Companies in the CBD industry have not been hit as hard as pure-play cannabis companies; However, the uncertainty has affected all markets involved.

True Brands, Inc. (OTCMKTS: RLBD)whose largest shareholder is ZigZag’s parent company Turning Point Brands, Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN:TPB), provides industrial-scale hemp-derived CBD oil/isolate extraction and processing, wholesale CBD oils and isolate, and production and sale of numerous consumer hemp-derived CBD brands of smokable, edible, and topical products. The company’s products range from cosmetics to CBD for athletes. In the first quarter, it gained distribution in the EU and rose to the OTC QB. CBD companies like RLBD will eagerly await the decision of the House of Representatives.

Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) is based in Canada, which has allowed it to operate much like a publicly traded cannabis company Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ:TLRY). However, Canadian cannabis giants are also keeping a close eye on US legislation.

If the MORE bill passes the House of Representatives on Friday, it will go to the Senate. If the law doesn’t pass, there are still opportunities for CBD and cannabis companies to take advantage of other legislation. The SAFE Banking Act of 2021 would bar federal bank regulators from penalizing financial institutions for providing services to a “legitimate” cannabis company.

Beacon Policy Advisors LLC analyst Andrew Lokay said Monday in case the bill doesn’t go through both branches of Congress: “[Senate Majority Leader] Schumer could allow SAFE Banking to be added as an addition to the must-pass legislation.”

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Markus McKelvie
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