Many things have happened to the cannabis industry and it has been a very good year for producers, sellers, and consumers. The legalization of cannabis use for recreational and medical purposes definitely kicked off a lot of big wins for the market and everyone is enjoying all of its results.
Check out some of the biggest wins that the cannabis industry accumulated for the year 2019:
Cannabis Legalization Advances in Congress
Last month, the House Judiciary Committee became the first congressional panel to approve a bill that will end federal cannabis prohibition. This was a first in the history of US. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement or MORE Act, if enacted into law, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. It would fund programs to begin repairing the harms of the war on drugs, which has been waged disproportionately against communities of color.
This is the furthest that a cannabis descheduling legislation has ever advanced on Capitol Hill, but do not get your hopes up just yet. It is still not clear at this point when it will get a floor vote. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, sponsor of the bill, stated that he is working to make that happen by the end of 2020. There is still another hurdle though even if this legislation gets approved by the full House. To advance it in the Republican-controlled Senate will be another matter altogether.
This is still one of the best things to happen this year for the cannabis industry. It is the first step for making the legalization of cannabis nationwide possible.
Cannabis Banking Bill Passed By House
The full House of Representatives has voted way back in September to approve a bill to let banks service cannabis businesses. This will now remove their fears of being suspected and punished by the federal regulators.
The roll call tally counted 321 to 103, which showed the broad bipartisan support for fixing an issue that industry leaders and regulators alike have pointed to as public safety concern. Before the bill was passed, it prevented many cannabis operators from being able to store their profits with banking institutions. They were forced to operate on a cash-only basis and this was painting them a target on their backs for robbers.
Illinois Becomes 11th State Legalizing Cannabis
The promise that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during his 2018 election campaign has become a reality after he convinced lawmakers to send a bill to his desk in May. He signed that bill officially into law in June and thus made Illinois the 11th state in the US to make cannabis use legal.
The legal sales were available to all adults over 21. The state also improved the reform movement’s political momentum as efforts to pass legalization bills in several other states with supportive governors failed to fulfill during 2019 sessions.
This has actually started to pick up momentum in several other states as well this year, and some of them seem to be done by next year. Illinois is also the first state in the country to establish a legal system of cannabis sales via the act of lawmakers.