NAPLES, Fla., April 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation Friday to legalize marijuana nationwide. 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 D.C. have legalized marijuana for adult use; the substance is still illegal federally. This legislation would remove legal uncertainty that has impeded banks and investors from participating in the cannabis market.
Despite the legal ‘grey area’ cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. Sales of adult-use and medical marijuana hit $25 billion in 2021, according to a report by Leafly, that was created in partnership with the cannabis economic analysis firm Whitney Economics. Researchers also found last year was the first time that job creation in the marijuana industry exceeded six figures, with 107,059 new jobs created, compared to 32,700 in 2019.
Companies in the CBD industry have not been hit as hard as pure cannabis companies; however, the uncertainty has affected all markets involved.
Real Brands, Inc. (OTCMKTS: RLBD), whose largest shareholder is ZigZag’s parent company Turning Point Brands, Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN: TPB), delivers industrial scale hemp CBD oil/isolate extraction and processing, wholesaling of CBD oils and isolate, and production and sales of numerous hemp-derived CBD consumer brands of smokable, edible and topical products. The company’s products range from cosmetics to CBD-for-athletes. In the first quarter, it gained EU distribution and uplisted to the OTC QB. CBD companies like RLBD will be anxiously awaiting the House’s ruling.
Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) is based in Canada which is why it has been able to operate as a publicly-traded cannabis company, much like Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY). However, the Canadian cannabis giants are also watching US legislation closely.
If the MORE Act passes the House Friday, it will then go to the Senate. If the bill is unable to pass, there are still ways for CBD and Cannabis companies to benefit from other legislation. The SAFE Banking Act of 2021, if passed, would bar federal banking regulators from punishing financial institutions for providing services to a “legitimate” cannabis-related business.
Beacon Policy Advisors LLC analyst Andrew Lokay said Monday in the case of the Act not passing through both branches of congress, “[Senate Majority Leader] Schumer could allow SAFE Banking to be attached as an amendment to must-pass legislation.”
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