One of the most exciting topics in the cannabis industry is related to the legalization and decriminalization efforts that are taking place in the United States (US).
Last week, the House of Representatives approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a large-scale defense spending bill that includes an amendment to protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.
Although we find this to be significant, several senators are pushing back on including the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in NDAA. We would not be surprised if the Senate approves NDAA as it is currently written and will monitor how the legislation is received.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has been helping lead the charge to advance comprehensive cannabis legalization and has been severely critical of efforts to enact banking reform first. We hope he is able to win some republicans over in the Senate but believe he is fighting an uphill battle.
One of the Senators that is surprisingly pushing back on including the SAFE Banking Act in NDAA is Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has insisted on passing comprehensive justice-focused cannabis legalization rather than just a bill that includes banking reform.
We have seen several attempts to pass comprehensive cannabis legalization reform fall flat on its face and expect to see a similar situation play out again. Although the trend is discouraging, the fact that the legislation is creating such noise is significant. It is only a matter of time until cannabis is legalized at the federal level and we are hoping for a pre-Christmas miracle with the SAFE Banking Act.
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