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As bill moves forward in Senate, cannabis banking could ease amid industry boom


A bill to create clearer regulations and open up banking opportunities for those in the cannabis industry is gaining steam in Congress.


Capitol Hill is buzzing with the prospect as the SAFE Banking Act moves forward, potentially allowing thousands of businesses that rely on cannabis to receive the benefits of formerly skittish banks. Still, legalization advocates have qualms about the House and Senate versions of the bill.


Aspects of the SAFE Banking Act would allow verify that banks who make business loans to companies in the cannabis industry are protected, even though they operate under FDIC regulations and some cannabis products like marijuana are still illegal federally. [2] [3]


“Right now a lot of Kentucky hemp farmers and hemp-related businesses are having trouble accessing financial services,” Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) of the House Financial Services Committee, told the Miami Herald. “Many of these banks and credit unions, they want to serve these businesses, but they don’t want to do anything that would get them in legal trouble.” [3]


The legislation is expected to face a floor vote next week. [3]


An interest group of committed legalization activists recently reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay the bill’s vote in the House until a marijuana legalization bill can reach the House, but this is unlikely. [1]


“A majority of the country lives under a state legal cannabis regime,” Randal Meyer of the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce told Politico. “Legislators on both sides of the aisle and both parties are understanding that.” [2]


House Majority Leader Steney Hoyer, (D-MD) is a major proponent of the SAFE Banking Act, and rumors that the bill would reach the floor came after the Senate Banking Chair Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) announced he would support a rather different measure in the Senate, Politico reported. [2]


“We cannot forget that as we seek to address the financial issues associated with the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, we need to also address the thousands of individuals who have spent time behind bars for involvement with marijuana,” Tina Smith (D-Minn.) told Politico. [1]


The most recent Politico report said Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) all support the move to bring clarity to CBD and cannabis banking system. [1]


Free banking and association across the cannabis industry will result in an explosion of investment, growth and opportunities across America.


Sources

[1] https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-cannabis-preview/2019/09/18/advocates-ask-pelosi-hoyer-to-press-pause-on-cannabis-banking-478449

[2] https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-cannabis-preview/2019/09/16/house-plans-to-move-on-banking-bill-477575

[3] https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article235211037.html

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