A bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level could be announced by Senate Democrats as early as next week, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The measure is reported to have been worked on by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden. A draft of the bill had previously been released to Senate committees for feedback.
Whether it has a chance of surviving the Senate with a simple majority is unknown. But cannabis stocks have since soared after news of the bill’s possible introduction next week was revealed.
Shares of Tilray Brands, a global pharmaceutical, cannabis-lifestyle, and consumer packaged goods company, jumped almost 14%. Investors are also diving into Canadian producers Canopy Growth (up 11%) and Aurora Cannabis (up 11%).
Cronos Group, a company focused on cannabis technology and product development, saw a positive shift as well, with its stock rising almost 4% today.
Those gains on Thursday came as U.S. stocks fell sharply, marking the S&P 500’s fifth consecutive day of losses.
A draft of the cannabis bill says legalizing marijuana would bring an end to the war on drugs, which it describes as a war on people, particularly people of color.
“The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act aims to end the decades of harm inflicted on communities of color by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and empowering states to implement their own cannabis laws,” it reads.
According to the draft, 18 states have legalized marijuana use by adults; the draft also notes that 90% of Americans believe cannabis should be legal for adult or medical use.
In addition to decriminalizing cannabis on a federal level, the bill would expunge federal nonviolent marijuana crimes; create a fund from federal cannabis tax revenue to reinvest in communities impacted by drug offenses; and provide financial aid to entrepreneurs of color who face barriers in the industry.
States would still be able to determine their own cannabis laws.
The House voted in April to decriminalize marijuana and expunge records of people convicted of nonviolent cannabis offenses. That bill, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, did not move forward after its passage.