Republican Senator Casts Doubt on Schumer’s Marijuana Banking Plan, Calls It a ‘Wish List’ with a Tight Deadline

Republican Senator Skeptical of Schumer’s Marijuana Banking Plan, Deems It an Unrealistic “Wish List” with Limited Timeframe

Republican John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed skepticism regarding Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) plan to tackle marijuana banking and other legislation during the summer session. Cornyn believes that Schumer’s ambitious “wish list” of legislative priorities is virtually impossible to achieve within the given timeframe. Speaking on the Senate floor, Cornyn questioned whether the bills had been pre-vetted with the Republican-controlled House or inquired about the White House’s stance on signing the legislation. The senator emphasized the need to prioritize other important issues such as defense, agriculture, and appropriations.

Schumer, acknowledging the challenges, had included cannabis banking reform as one of his achievable priorities in his . However, the likelihood of passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act during the summer session depends on its through the Senate Banking . While the standalone bill has sufficient support to pass the full chamber, the potential for that could compromise bipartisan support remains uncertain. Schumer had not explicitly mentioned his intention to attach an amendment for expungements, which the GOP sponsor of the banking measure is reportedly open to.

Senators on the Banking Committee are still engaged in discussions concerning Section 10 of the marijuana bill, particularly the concerns voiced by some Democrats, including Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who believe it could undermine banking beyond the cannabis industry. Republican Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), the sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, stated that a final deal has not yet been reached but discussions are ongoing.

While there is growing bipartisan support for the banking legislation, doubts persist about whether Democratic will follow through on their commitment to pass the bill this year. However, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed his desire to hold a vote on the bill within the next few weeks.

The current version of the SAFE Banking Act aims to protect banks, credit unions, and depository institutions from federal regulatory penalties for working with state-licensed cannabis businesses. Advocates have suggested various changes, such as expanding protections to encompass all financial services and allowing marijuana industry representation on major U.S. stock exchanges. However, these proposals have faced criticism from those who argue that such expansions should not occur while broader marijuana legalization efforts remain stalled in Congress.

In May, a prominent cannabis lobbying issued an apology for a letter sent to Senate Banking Committee leadership, which included inappropriate references to Chinese investments as an attempt to push for amendments to expand the legislation. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) recently expressed her support for an amendment to the SAFE Banking Act that would enable cannabis businesses to Small Business Administration (SBA) services at the federal level.

Schumer and other lawmakers continue to work on bipartisan cannabis reform proposals to address the shortcomings encountered in previous attempts. Failure to advance a banking fix for the industry could lead to significant financial consequences, with potentially hundreds of businesses facing closure.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a lead sponsor of the House version of the SAFE Banking Act, emphasized the importance of incremental proposals and cautioned against an all-or-nothing approach to ending the . The American Bankers Association (ABA) and its state chapters, along with insurance and union organizations, have all called for the passage of the legislation in recent letters to congressional leadership.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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