Marijuana Banking Reform Will Advance In The House Before Legalization, Congressman Says

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A bill to protect banks that work with state-legal marijuana businesses that was reintroduced in the House this week will advance before lawmakers tackle more comprehensive cannabis reform, a key congressman said on Friday. During a press call to discuss the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and other cosponsors answered questions about the state of play of the legislation, which cleared the chamber as a standalone bill in 2019 and twice as part of COVID-19 relief packages last year. Blumenauer, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus and an original cosponsor of the bill, said that the plan is to pass the banking reform first because it “is a public safety crisis now,” and it’s “distinct—as we’ve heard from some of my colleagues—distinct from how they feel about comprehensive reform.” “Comprehensive reform is coming,” he said. “There’s no need, however, for us to wait on the banking issue. This is an issue that is putting the public at risk” because marijuana businesses are currently forced to operate on a largely cash-only basis, making them targets of crime, among other issues, he said. When the standalone legislation was scheduled for a vote in 2019, there was pushback from some advocates who felt that Congress should have prioritized comprehensive reform to legalize marijuana and promote social equity, rather than start with a measure viewed as primarily friendly to industry interests. It’s also simply the case that the SAFE Banking Act has been refiled and, so far this Congress, no bills to end federal cannabis prohibition have yet been introduced. However, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) recently said that he will be putting out his Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act soon. That bill, which would deschedule marijuana and promote equity in the industry, was…

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Source : Marijuana Banking Reform Will Advance In The House Before Legalization, Congressman Says

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