Marijuana Banking Protections Excluded From Senate Coronavirus Relief Legislation

Marijuana Banking Protections Excluded From Senate Coronavirus Relief Legislation

Senate leadership unveiled their latest round of coronavirus relief legislation on Monday—and unlike the version approved by the House, it does not include provisions protecting banks that service the marijuana industry from being penalized by federal regulators. Reform advocates are disappointed but not necessarily surprised. After all, GOP senators lobbed seemingly coordinated attacks at House Democrats after they included the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in their COVID-19 legislation in May. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took issue in particular with cannabis industry diversity reporting requirements in the House banking language, leaving some level of hope he would at last sign off on amended marijuana banking language with the diversity provisions removed—but that didn’t happen. While Republicans have questioned the germaneness of the marijuana reform being included as part of a coronavirus relief bill, industry advocates argue it would provide critical funding and also mitigate the spread of the virus by allowing alternatives to cash transactions in the cannabis market. “Unfortunately, Senate Republicans and their Leader Mitch McConnell continue to refuse reality in nearly all of the legislative dealings when it comes to cannabis,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “At a time of a national credit crunch and coin shortage both providing them cover to include this minor but important policy change, their intransigence and desire to see lives ruined by prohibition holds.” There was some hope that the Senate would put the bipartisan banking language in their version—at the very least to…

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Source : MJ moment
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