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House to vote on bill to end federal cannabis prohibition

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote for the first time on ending the federal prohibition of cannabis. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins Kristin Myers to discuss.

Video Transcript

- The House is set to vote on marijuana and ending its criminalization. Now this is the first time Congress would be voting on the measure. We have Yahoo Finances, Jessica Smith, here with more. Hey Jess.

- Hey Kristin, we are still waiting to hear exact timing. But at last check, it was planned to have a vote at some point this week, so in the next couple of days. This bill, called the MORE Act, would end the federal prohibition of marijuana and it would expunge some cannabis related convictions. Ending that federal prohibition would leave it up to states to set their own marijuana policies, and it would end that conflict that we currently see between state and federal law. The bill would also put a 5% tax on marijuana and marijuana products, to fund new programs like job re-entry, and education, substance abuse treatment, for people who have been, quote adversely affected by the war on drugs. If signed into law, the MORE Act would open up business opportunities for marijuana related businesses, including funding from the Small Business Administration. It would also require BLS to collect demographic data about cannabis business owners and employees, to make sure that people of color and economically disadvantaged people, are involved in the industry. I did speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California about this, and why she says it is so important. Let's watch.

- This is a job creating industry and it also provides economic opportunities for minority owned business owners. In terms of the licensing and in terms of the distribution, the sale, the growing, whatever. And so we say one, it creates good paying jobs. But secondly, it creates economic growth and economic opportunities for those who want to go and be entrepreneurs.

- Now this bill will face an uphill battle if it makes it to the Senate. Especially if Republicans maintain control of the upper chamber. But advocates tell me either way, it still sends a strong message if it makes it through the House. Kristen.

- All right, Jessica Smith with that update. Thank you for keeping an eye on that.