The marijuana industry is being fished again
There were initially interesting signs on the horizon as it looked like the Marijuana Banking Bill might soon see the light of day. However, recent developments have shown that there is still a long way to go before this can become a reality. Senate reports suggest the bill has been sidelined from a major spending bill expected to be published by Monday. As Cannabis.net has always said, if Mitch McConnell and a group of 8 friends say so, marijuana will be legal nationwide.
Read on as we explain what this will mean for the cannabis industry by 2023 and the way forward.
The Secure and Far Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act has faced a number of obstacles recently, and this is just the latest since the bill was introduced. Many in the industry commonly believe the bill will pass in the final round of the Senate lame duck session, but current reality speaks otherwise. The proposal had originally attempted to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in early December, but failed. The industry anticipated at the time that Appropriations would be the next place banks operating with federally legal cannabis businesses would seek sanctuary.
The SAFE bill includes a number of policies and proposals that will help make banking cannabis companies safe for financial institutions. Politico reports that the marijuana package included gun protection and eradication grants for those included. This has since made it the focus of attention for many in the cannabis industry when it comes to recent political reform and legislation. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been one of the frontliners in efforts to pass the Cannabis Banking Reform Act, but negotiations have so far failed.
The Senate sponsors of the bill are Steve Daines (R) of Montana and Jeff Merkley (D) of Oregon. They had pushed for the latest version of the bill to include the cut for the latest massive funding move, but unfortunately they couldn’t make the cut. This comes after two other attempts were made this year to pass the measure alongside a larger package.
Many expected reform to saunter through the lame duck in recent weeks, but recent reports have shown that will not happen. The lack of this SAFE banking law, according to Marijuana Moment’s Kyle Jaeger, will certainly leave supporters with limited legislative options to work with. This reality can also be viewed as negligence on the part of the House’s Democratic leadership. It has also been shown that marijuana reform legislation is not a priority for them, which is why we have this current impasse in our hands.
Erik Alteri, executive director of NORML, has stated that the failure of the Democrats and the opposition of the GOP is bad politics that doesn’t keep up with voter opinion. The importance of this action by Congress cannot be overstated as it has the power to determine the fate of thousands. Many state-licensed marijuana businesses and their numerous employees face incessant heists due to the cash-heavy nature of the markets. It is therefore important that reforms are implemented to protect American citizens and their livelihoods from outdated federal laws.
The bill passed the House of Representatives by a historic 321 votes to 101 last year. However, thanks to Mitch McConnell, the bill is getting little attention in the Senate. Although Democrats had nine Republican co-sponsors in the Senate, they would have needed one more GOP senator to make passage. However, it seemed the bigger issue at the time was moving it as part of a larger spending package. This made it a political hurdle too high to clear. Senator Cynthia Lummis, one of the GOP co-sponsors, believes the bill would be best served if it had been considered individually in the Senate.
The SAFE Banking Act is designed to protect banks and other custodians from the prying hands of federal authorities. Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug nationwide, meaning financial institutions involved in cannabis businesses face the risk of penalties. Kadijah Tribble, the chief executive officer of the US Cannabis Council, believes that the Senate’s failure to pass SAFE is missing an opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation.
The lack of SAFE banking coverage has also made the cannabis industry hostile to investors. Many small business owners trying to break into the industry have mostly found it too difficult to overcome. This is because they have to compete with larger companies that are more established and have well-capitalized interests. This has stalled the decentralization efforts of many cannabis reform advocates and discouraged many. These factors are some of the reasons many are patiently waiting for the SAFE Banking Bill to become a reality. This is also why the latest news about the delay is a huge disappointment for most.
It is evident to the bond that the cannabis industry desperately needs the SAFE Banking Act to come to life. The livelihoods and livelihoods of many Americans and their businesses depend heavily on it. We can only hope that Senate sponsors will find the best way to ensure the law passes in 2023. Until then, cannabis companies and their owners will have to figure out the best way to deal with the existing conditions and make the most of it as much as they can.
NO FEDERAL CANNABIS LEGALIZATION, READ MORE…
WHO IS GUILTY, BOOKER OR MCCONNELL? READ THIS!