Marijuana banking bill finally getting more bipartisan support in the Senate

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Senators on both sides of the chamber are pooling their resources to back the SAFE Act

The Senate has been characterized as a not-so-supportive group of legislators when it comes to marijuana banking legislation; however, that appears to be changing. Now, about a quarter of the members of the US Senate are taking a more positive approach and are calling on Congressional leaders to take action to make marijuana banking provisions a reality.

Comprised of five Republicans and 19 Democrats, the 24 Senators have written a letter asserting that the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act “would help cannabis-related businesses, support innovation, create jobs, and strengthen public safety in our communities.” The movement, led by Senators Jacky Rosen and Jeff Merkley, seeks to have the America COMPETES Act become the vehicle for marijuana provisions. The measure is expected to be discussed in a bicameral conference committee.

Noting that cannabis banking legislation has passed the House six times at this point, the bipartisan group made it clear that it has seen nothing but broad support for this reform to become law. “Allowing cannabis businesses operating legally and in compliance with state law to access financial services without federal reprisal would address public safety and compliance challenges, helping communities reduce cash-motivated crimes,” read part of the text.

While the House has not been an impediment to this measure moving forward, the Senate has been seen as a huge obstacle to the reform having any kind of success. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and some colleagues assert that it is better to pass comprehensive legalization legislation before the cannabis banking bill.