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The MORE Act: A Milestone Towards Federal Cannabis Legalization and Its Implications for Ohio

Cannabis Plant US Capital Jerry Nadler
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In a historic move, House Democrats have taken a significant step toward reshaping the landscape of cannabis legalization in the United States. On September 20, 2023, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act was reintroduced in Congress, reigniting hopes for comprehensive federal cannabis reform. This landmark legislation has the potential to not only decriminalize cannabis but also address the historical injustices associated with its prohibition, with significant implications for Ohio dispensaries like Amplify Columbus and Verdant Columbus, among others.

The MORE Act: An Overview

The MORE Act, originally introduced in 2019, has been a beacon of hope for cannabis advocates across the nation, including those in Ohio. This ambitious bill seeks to accomplish several key objectives:

1. **Decriminalization:** The MORE Act aims to remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances at the federal level, which could potentially open doors for Ohio dispensaries like Amplify Columbus and Verdant Columbus to transition into recreational dispensaries.

2. **Expungement:** Ohio, like many states, has a history of cannabis convictions. The MORE Act's proposal for expungement could provide a fresh start to individuals in Ohio who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

3. **Taxation:** The bill also introduces federal taxation on cannabis products. Revenue generated from these taxes could be reinvested in Ohio communities most impacted by the war on drugs, fostering economic empowerment and social justice.

4. **Equity and Inclusion:** The MORE Act places a strong emphasis on equity within the cannabis industry. It seeks to remove barriers for Ohio individuals from marginalized communities to enter the legal cannabis market, potentially reshaping the landscape of the state's dispensaries.

The Road Ahead for Ohio Dispensaries

While the reintroduction of the MORE Act is a significant milestone for cannabis legalization advocates in Ohio, it's important to note that the path to federal cannabis reform remains challenging. Ohio dispensaries like Amplify Columbus and Verdant Columbus, among others, are undoubtedly watching this development closely as it could profoundly impact their operations.

Ohio has been steadily progressing in its cannabis policies, with medical marijuana legalization already in place. The potential conversion of Ohio dispensaries to recreational dispensaries, depending on federal decriminalization, could represent a substantial shift in the state's cannabis market and offer more accessibility to consumers.

However, the fate of the MORE Act in the Senate remains uncertain, as opposition and filibusters are possible obstacles. Nevertheless, the growing support for cannabis reform, both nationally and in Ohio, suggests that the tide may be turning in favor of federal decriminalization.


The reintroduction of the MORE Act in the House of Representatives is a momentous event with significant implications for Ohio dispensaries like Amplify Columbus and Verdant Columbus. As the debate unfolds in Congress, Ohioans and the broader cannabis community should closely monitor the progress of this legislation and consider the potential transformation it could bring to Ohio's cannabis landscape.

While challenges and uncertainties persist, the reintroduction of the MORE Act signifies a hopeful step forward for federal cannabis reform, offering Ohio dispensaries and communities the possibility of a more inclusive and equitable future for cannabis in the Buckeye State.


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