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The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement of 2019 or M.O.R.E. for short, is a bill expected to be voted on by Congress this year to decriminalize cannabis, aka, marijuana.

In 1970, President Nixon signed into law the Controlled Substances Act forbidding any use of cannabis including medical in the United States. Remarkably, or unremarkably, depending on each individual’s subjective opinion marijuana was only accessible in the underground market.

It wasn’t until November 6, 2012 (my birthday by the way) that Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Let me put to rest any questions along the lines of my personal participation in recreational marijuana – “I didn’t inhale.”

The talking points alleged to be presented in the bill are as follows:

  • replaces statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis,
  • requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees,
  • establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs,
  • imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and requires revenues to be deposited into the trust fund,
  • makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers,
  • prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions,
  • prohibits the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (e.g., conduct or a conviction), and
  • establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses.

My job as a professional money manager is to keep abreast of what’s on the horizon economically. “If” marijuana is decriminalized, I suspect that the size of the industry will be “higher” in the future.

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