Summer Session Up in Smoke: Key Senate Chairman Nixes Marijuana Banking Bill Markup, Advocates Left Disappointed

<a rel="nofollow" title="Marijuana" href="https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/cannabis-marijuana">Marijuana</a> Banking <a href="https://leafyleaks.com/tag/bill/" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Bill">Bill</a> Faces Summer Session Setback as Key Senate Chairman Rejects Markup

Marijuana Banking Bill Faces Summer Session Setback as Key Senate Chairman Rejects Markup

In a surprising turn of events, hopes for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act’s advancement during the summer session have been dashed. The setback came after Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, confirmed that the bipartisan banking bill would not receive a committee markup next week. The news was conveyed by lobbyist Don Murphy of the Marijuana Leadership Campaign, who discussed the matter with Senator Brown following a hearing on Thursday. Consequently, the bill will not be addressed until lawmakers return from their recess starting on July 31.

and stakeholders who were eagerly anticipating the bill’s progress have been left disappointed by this recent development. The disappointment is compounded by the fact that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had included the cannabis legislation as one of the legislative priorities for the summer session, despite acknowledging the it may face.

Earlier in June, Senator Brown had expressed hope for holding a markup of the bill “in the next two or three weeks.” However, recent signs indicated that the bill had hit a temporary impasse, with Brown insisting on garnering more Republican cosponsors for the measure, particularly from the bill’s GOP sponsor, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).

Insiders point to a specific section of the bill concerning broader banking regulations as the cause of disagreement among senators. Some Democrats, including Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), have advocated for removing or modifying Section 10, but according to a senior GOP staffer, such actions would be a “non-starter” for Republicans.

Despite ongoing talks and expressed hopes for progress, the bill’s advancement prior to the summer session’s conclusion proved elusive. Senator Brown’s committee staff has not yet confirmed or commented on the Chairman’s reported remarks.

The House version of the SAFE Banking Act, led by Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH), has passed with strong bipartisan support on seven separate occasions. In light of the delays in the Senate, Joyce urges swift action from his Senate colleagues on this critical legislation.

Senator Daines had previously expressed caution about expanding the bill to include social justice reforms, although his office indicated openness to incorporating expungements language proposed by Schumer.

Schumer himself remains steadfast in his commitment to advancing the SAFE Banking Act, acknowledging the legislative challenges ahead and the need for GOP support.

Meanwhile, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed skepticism about Schumer’s ambitious summer agenda, casting doubt on the chances of marijuana banking, among other legislative items, advancing in the current session.

Amidst the uncertainty, Schumer recently conveyed confidence about the prospects of passing the banking bill, according to a cannabis industry leader who spoke with him at an unrelated event.

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) declared his support for the legislation, but he remains uncertain about the Democratic leadership’s ability to deliver on their pledge this year.

As currently drafted, the SAFE Banking Act aims to protect banks, credit unions, and depository institutions from federal regulatory penalties for serving -licensed cannabis businesses. Some advocates have suggested further changes, such as extending protections to grant marijuana industry access to various financial services and representation on major U.S. stock exchanges. However, such proposals face criticism from other advocates who believe it would be inappropriate to prioritize access over broader legalization efforts.

In May, a major cannabis lobbying firm apologized for inappropriately referencing Chinese investments in a letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership to push for amendments expanding the bill.

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) recently voiced her desire for the SAFE Banking Act to include an amendment allowing cannabis businesses to access federal Small Business Administration (SBA) services.

Despite the challenges, lawmakers, led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), are working to revive the cannabis reform package, recognizing the implications of a to address banking issues for the industry.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a lead sponsor of the House version of the SAFE Banking Act, emphasizes the importance of incremental progress in reform and urges advocates and lawmakers to find common ground rather than adopting an “all-or-nothing” approach.

Various industry groups, including the American Bankers Association (ABA) and its state chapters, insurance and union organizations, continue to advocate for the passage of the legislation in letters to congressional leadership.

The ten-year of the initial version of the SAFE Banking Act was recently commemorated, highlighting the long-standing efforts to address cannabis banking challenges.

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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