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In the Legislature and the courts, hemp see boost


A tectonic shift in CBD policy occurred at the national level this week when Republicans and Democrats aligned to allow banking access for cannabis businesses as law enforcement and courts developed attitudes toward the same entrepreneurs.


Wednesday, the SAFE Banking Act passed that will allow cannabis businesses to bank loans and other services integral to the prosperous functioning of the new industry. In the same span of time, a South Carolina farmer became the first arrested for growing hemp and an Indiana federal judge ruled against the state’s ban on smokeable hemp.


According to Politico, 91 Republican House votes joined the 229 Democrats to approve the SAFE Banking act. [1]


For many, it is ordinary services stopping the industry from reaching astronomical value projections that have been convincing arguments for legalizing CBD loans and banking services.


“The most compelling arguments have been centered around these secondary relationships,” American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols told Politico. “It’s the local plumber, it’s the local electrician, it’s the attorney, it’s the accountant who are doing business with a cannabis grower or dispensary who are then having challenges associated with getting banking products and services.” [1]


Meanwhile, a federal judge in Indiana ruled a ban on smokeable hemp in the state was unconstitutional.


High Times reported that Judge Sarah Evans Barker the law would cause “irreparable harm in the form of a credible threat of criminal sanctions” without a preliminary injunction. [2]

Barker said the law in Indiana was preempted by the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing CBD and industrial hemp products at the federal level.


“The likely unconstitutional portions of the statute cannot be easily measured or reliably calculated, given the novelty of the hemp industry in Indiana and the dearth of historical sales data to use as a baseline for calculating lost revenues,” Barker wrote, according to High Times. [2]


Even as the federal laws around CBD and hemp continue to liberalize and ease toward freer markets in the cannabis trade, some states have not kept up with such developments.

In South Carolina, the state documented the first ever documented arrest or growing hemp crops. [3]


Early this month, John Pendarvis was arrested for growing hemp crops on an unlicensed parcel, according to the Post and Courier. [3]


One problem is that there is no punishment listed in South Carolina law for such violations. [3]


Pendarvis told the Post and Courier turned over $12 million of his hemp to mulch in just minutes. [3]


“I think they were showing their authority, and they wanted to make an example out of me,” Pendarvis told the paper. “It’s a technicality.” [3]


Sources:

[1] https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/25/house-oks-giving-cannabis-industry-access-to-banks-1512850

[2] https://hightimes.com/news/federal-judge-says-indianas-ban-smokable-hemp-unconstitutional/

[3] https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-farmer-first-to-be-arrested-for-growing-hemp-but/article_ea36ee92-dbbe-11e9-b3de-cf2f68da05a0.html

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