What happened

Shares of Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis (ACB -1.15%) closed up 3.8% on a slow day for Wall Street. The reason for the stock's rise, however, seems to have less to do with happenings in Canada than with what's going on in the U.S. Congress.

So what

Specifically, in the U.S. House of Representatives, it was reported that Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler is planning to introduce the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act for consideration by legislators next week. Such a move would not only "deschedule" marijuana (i.e., legalize it on the federal level), but do so retroactively, permitting persons previously convicted of marijuana drug offenses to have their records expunged, fulfilling a campaign pledge made by Vice President Kamala Harris last year.  

Meanwhile, similar legislation is expected to be taken up in the U.S. Senate "very soon," reports MarijuanaMoment.net.

American flag with marijuana plants in the background

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Combined, these two news items suggest that marijuana legalization is advancing in the halls of Congress -- a fact presumed to be good news for marijuana companies such as Aurora Cannabis. It does not necessarily mean that legalization is imminent, however.

As MarijuanaMoment points out, the MORE bill going to the House has been amended somewhat from a version that passed the House last year, which may affect the support it receives this time around. And advocates of the new measure are said to be pushing for additional revisions which could further delay passage -- even before the inevitable negotiations between House and Senate versions begin later in the year.