On Wednesday (November 20), a congressional committee voted in favor of a new bill that would lift the federal ban on cannabis in the US.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee with a 24 to 10 vote and will now move on to Congress. It is expected to be approved by the Democrat-controlled government body.

However, if approved by the Congress the bill would move on to the Senate, where it is expected to see a slower traction process and more opposition.

The MORE Act follows in the footsteps of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act), which was passed on to the Senate back in September.

“Federal action on this issue would follow growing recognition in the states that the status quo is unacceptable,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said in his opening remarks.

In addition to descheduling cannabis as a federally illegal substance, the MORE Act would seek to create a road for addressing criminal records and other federal requests for people with cannabis offenses.

“This legislation won’t make up for the full scale of harm that prohibition has caused to its victims,” Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno said in an emailed statement. “But this legislation is the closest we’ve come yet to not only ending those harms at the federal level but also beginning to repair them.”

While the marijuana market has suffered pitfalls attached to recent earnings reports, stocks were up across the board on Wednesday.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ) was up over 5 percent as of 1:32 p.m. EST at C$9.31. This fund acts as an index offering a pool of some of the top marijuana stocks in Canada.

More specific US-centric funds also noticed gains on Wednesday after the vote took place. The Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (NEO:HMUS) was up to C$4.48 as of 1:49 p.m. EST, representing a 7.43 percent spike.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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