THE SENATE HEARING ON CANNABIS BANKING REFORM

The much-anticipated Senate committee scheduled for Tuesday on matters related to the Cannabis Banking Reform. With this in mind, the matter at hand was to address the legislative fixes aimed at powering banks or certain financial institutions to examine state legal marijuana businesses.

This is without the risk of being penalized by federal financial regulators, and the chair of the panel concluded that “a case has been made pretty strongly here” that the issue must get resolved but that it’s a “very important and complex issue that needs to be gotten right.”

Scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, the much anticipated Senate Committee on Banking chairs senate hearing is to be hosted by the Housing and Urban Affairs on Tuesday under the theme “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives.” Here, Lawmakers, industry representatives, and advocates will be attesting to the challenges faced by businesspersons in the cannabis industry, notably in states where the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational purpose is legal.

In addition, irrespective of the legalization and non-legalization of pot in some states in the US, financial institutions working hand in gloves with firms in the cannabis industry are still conflicting with federal laws. Making them liable for federal money laundering charges. With this embargo in hindsight, cannabis farmers, dispensaries as well as other cannabis companies aren’t eligible to use banking services such making deposits.

As a measure to address the sensitivity of the cannabis reform, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Col., and Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., spearheaded the inception of a bill in March, called the Secure and Fair Banking Act. The Act allows financial institutions such as credit unions, banks, and others to work with firms in the cannabis industry. This is to ensure the firms do not violate the federal laws governing this industry. Findings have it that, the SAFE Banking Act has a mouthwatering 206 co-sponsors in the House as well as a companion bill in the Senate.

It should be worthy to note that, this hearing comes just over a week after the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security had second thoughts after remodeling laws governing marijuana. In addition, the hearing came in moments after the Jerry Nadler who happens to be the House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Sen. Kamala Harris (Democratic presidential hopeful) made an announcement regarding the introduction of a bill. The said “bill” looked at the possibility of legalizing cannabis at federal levels.

Conclusively, taking to mind the fact that no industry has ever been recorded to operate safely, effectively and transparently without access to finances from financial institutions, this is evident in the cannabis industry, as the consumers served by these institutions will find their activities affected by the non-availability of proper funding, credit, financing, banking, as well as payment processing.

With this in mind, Congress will then have an obligation to improve on the federal policy as a way of inculcating the ever-growing state-compliant businesses. Not just these state-owned businesses but also the millions of Americans who patronize them and are not in any way subject to strategies that unnecessarily put them in danger.

 

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