Federal Cannabis Legalization Looks Unlikely, Democrats Hope For Deal On Banking

Federal Cannabis Legalization Looks Unlikely, Democrats Hope For Deal On Banking
CANNANNEW REPORT

It appears the chances of federal cannabis legalization have moved from slim to none in recent weeks. Democrats, facing the reality of losing control of the U.S. Senate and possibly even the House of Representatives in November, are hoping to still put together a deal on cannabis banking, much as they tried to do in 2021. According to Politico, which interviewed dozens of lawmakers, there’s little hope that decriminalization will happen in 2022, even though many leading Democrats – including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – have voiced support for it.  Instead, Democrats hope to get their Republican colleagues to agree on new regulations that will open the door for banks to provide financial services to cannabis companies. It’s been an ongoing issue since legal sales first began almost a decade ago. It’s considered key to helping better establish the cannabis industry and combat the illegal drug trade. Time Is Not on the Democrats’ Side While elections can always offer surprises, most observers believe the Republicans will regain control of the U.S. Senate in the November elections. Some even believe they will regain control of the House. Democrats have the advantage in both chambers right now, with the slimmest of advantages in the Senate. With only a few months left before the election, Democrats have shifted to promoting the Safe Banking Act, which would allow national banks to provide services for cannabis businesses. With marijuana still illegal at the federal level, banks typically do not provide these services. It’s left cannabis businesses having to deal primarily in cash, which is both inconvenient and a security risk. Democrats hope to attach provisions to the Act that would include social equity and criminal justice provisions to the bill if it moves forward. “There’s a greater sense of urgency,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat…

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