Cannabis Banking Reform Fails At Last-Ditch Effort In Congress

The cannabis industry’s Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act failed to get attached to a year-end funding package in congress this week, following objections from Republicans. This failure marks what could be the end of the line for the proposed legislation when the Republicans take over the House next month.

The SAFE Banking Act aims to reform banking in the cannabis industry, which currently still operates largely on a cash basis, putting businesses and their employees at risk for robberies and the resulting economic harm. Even in states with legal marijuana, businesses get refused by banks because marijuana, under federal law, is still illegal.

And beyond that, the measure — and the hope for its passing — was the litmus paper test for the broader sentiment on marijuana and the course for its legalization on a federal level.

SAFE was also the way for cannabis companies to grow their businesses by being able to win the favor of institutional investors, and list on the major US stock exchanges.

While it received some bipartisan support, Republicans still stood against the measure. 

“They’re dead set on anything in marijuana,” said Sen. Cory Booker, one of the proponents of legalization, in a HuffPost report. “That to me is the obstacle.”’

When he was Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell blocked any House-passed cannabis legislation. And with the Republicans gaining control of the House for two years again beginning next month, it’s likely that no cannabis-related bills like SAFE will become law.

Information for this story was found via Twitter, HuffPost, Bloomberg, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Views expressed within are solely that of the author. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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