Schumer Reiterates Commitment to Marijuana Banking Reform

Marijuana Reform: The Future of Cannabis Banking

Hey there, fellow cannabis ! It’s your friendly neighborhood cannabis expert here, and I’ve got some exciting news to share. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is back in action, and he’s making it clear that marijuana banking is high on his priority list. Yep, you heard it right. The world of cannabis banking is about to get a makeover, and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the details.

The Buzz About Marijuana Reform

So, you might be wondering, “What’s all the fuss about marijuana reform, and why should I care?” Well, my friend, it’s a big deal. Chuck Schumer, hailing from the great state of New York, is leading the charge in the Senate to push for changes in how cannabis-related businesses handle their finances. The key player in this game is the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, and Schumer is determined to make progress on it.

But here’s the catch – he’s well aware that this journey won’t be a walk in the park. He’s calling for bipartisan cooperation, not just for marijuana reform but also to tackle issues like skyrocketing insulin prices and competing with the big dogs like China.

None of this will be easy either. The bills will require a lot of work and compromise. But if we can progress on these items, we will greatly improve the lives of average Americans.

Watch Schumer discuss marijuana banking and other legislative issues in the video below:

Schumer’s Big Speech: What Went Down

Picture this: Schumer, standing on the Senate floor, addressing the nation about the legislative priorities that lie ahead. He’s not mincing words; he’s all about “making progress on cannabis” through the SAFE Banking Act. But here’s the catch – he’s well aware that this journey won’t be a walk in the park. He’s calling for bipartisan cooperation, not just for marijuana reform but also to tackle issues like skyrocketing insulin prices and competing with the big dogs like China.

None of this will be easy either. The bills will require a lot of work and compromise. But if we can progress on these items, we will greatly improve the lives of average Americans.

Watch Schumer discuss marijuana banking and other legislative issues in the video below:

The Next Step: Senate Banking Committee Markup

Now, you might be wondering what’s next for the SAFE Banking Act. Well, the next pitstop is a markup in the Senate Banking Committee. and stakeholders are keeping their fingers crossed that this step will happen sooner rather than later.

Possibly adding momentum to the reform as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now recommending that marijuana be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—a move that would, among other things, free up state-licensed cannabis businesses to take federal deductions.

Schumer described the SAFE Banking Act as a priority in a separate Dear Colleague letter in July that laid out the summer agenda. But efforts to advance the bill fell short at the time amid disagreement between key senators over a single section concerning broader banking regulations.

At a press conference in late July before lawmakers broke for recess, Schumer said that senators were “making good progress” in bipartisan negotiations over the legislation and predicted a a “very, very productive fall in the Senate.”

The bill “has always been a priority for me,” he said. “So there’s a lot to do when we get back.”

At this point, the SAFE Banking Act has 42 cosponsors—nearly half of the Senate—and that includes eight Republicans and three independents. So there is a degree of bipartisanship to the reform, earlier versions of which have cleared the House multiple times. The problem at hand is Section 10, which certain Democrats believe would undermine banking regulations and are seeking to amend or remove.

Republicans have said they view that option as a “non-starter,” however. And it’s unclear if any progress was made over the recess to reach an agreement that would allow the bill to move through the Senate Banking Committee and onto the floor.

As a standalone in its current form, insiders say the measure has enough Republican buy-in to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for passage in the Senate.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman and SAFE Banking Act Cosponsor

Senate Banking Committee Chairman (D-OH) and lead SAFE Banking Act cosponsor Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sparred over next steps for the bill in the lead-up to the August recess. Brown has insisted that Daines needs to secure more GOP cosponsors, but Daines argued that Republicans are already prepared to move the legislation as previously agreed to through the floor.

Daines has also previously cautioned against attempting to expand the measure with reforms that progressives would like to add, though his office has told Marijuana Moment that the senator is “open” to adding expungements language, as proposed by Schumer.

The Industry’s Call for Action

Meanwhile, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and (ATACH)—along with trade groups representing marijuana businesses in 16 states plus , D.C.—sent a letter to Brown and Banking Committee Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC) in July, imploring them to pass the cannabis banking bill “without further .”

Schumer also spoke with a cannabis industry leader earlier this summer after being approached at an unrelated event, and according to that entrepreneur, the Senate leader is feeling “confident” about the prospects of passing the cannabis banking bill.

Protecting Banks and Credit Unions

So, what’s all this fuss about the SAFE Banking Act? Well, in its current form, it’s designed to shield banks, credit unions, and depository institutions from federal regulators’ wrath for working with state-licensed cannabis businesses. It’s like a protective bubble for financial institutions, allowing them to dip their toes into the cannabis waters without fear of repercussions.

Others have also floated other changes that they’d like to see incorporated into the cannabis bill such as expanding protections to free up marijuana industry access to all forms of financial services, including representation on major U.S. stock exchanges.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) has also said that she wanted the SAFE Banking Act to pass with an allowing cannabis businesses to access federal Small Business Administration (SBA) services.

Schumer’s Determination

In April, Schumer said that he was “disappointed” that a so-called SAFE Plus package of cannabis reform legislation didn’t advance last year, saying “we came close,” but “we ran into opposition in the last minute.” He said lawmakers will continue to “work in a bipartisan way” to get the job done.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that lawmakers are working to “resurrect” the cannabis reform package, acknowledging that failure to advance a banking fix for the industry “literally means that hundreds of businesses go out of business.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who is a lead Democratic sponsor of the House version of the SAFE Banking Act, said at a press briefing in April that thinks it’s important that advocates and lawmakers align on any incremental proposals to end the drug war, warning against an “all-or-nothing” mentality.

A Unified Call for Action

The American Bankers Association (ABA) is singing the same tune. They’re renewing their call for the passage of the legislation, along with all 50 of its state chapters, insurance groups, and unions. Everyone seems to agree that it’s time for change.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, my friends. The world of cannabis banking is on the brink of transformation. Chuck Schumer and a host of advocates and stakeholders are working tirelessly to make it happen. It’s a journey filled with twists and turns, but the destination is clear: a safer, more accessible financial landscape for the cannabis industry.

Stay tuned, stay informed, and let’s see where this exciting journey takes us. Until next time, happy toking!

Rosemary Puffman
I'm Rosemary, a staunch supporter of cannabis legalization and its potential benefits. My roles as a writer, cannabis entrepreneur, and informed investor allow me to contribute to the evolving narrative around cannabis. Through my writing, I aim to destigmatize and educate, while my business ventures and strategic investments align with my belief in the positive impact of responsible cannabis use.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *