Will Cannabis Banking Become Legal Through The Defense Bill?
The heads of the Senate have been sent another message imploring that cannabis banking should be passed. Which may soon happen through the passing of a defense bill. Yet this time it was from financial associations and labor groups. The groups consisted of The American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, United Food, and Commercial Workers Union.
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And 11 other organizations sent the letter on Tuesday. This was to urge members to adopt language protecting banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses. Which as mentioned is a measure that’s a part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The House has already attached language from the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act in its version of NDAA. To which the groups want the Senate to follow the chamber’s lead.
“Our organizations have banded together because the status quo is untenable for workers, communities, ancillary businesses and law-abiding financial institutions,” the new letter states. They added that enacting the banking reform would “also provide legitimate business with access to necessary insurance products and protections that are afforded to other businesses.”
“SAFE Banking is germane to NDAA because it bolsters national security by keeping bad actors out of the cannabis industry and the financial system, while also supporting the thousands of veterans who rely on the cannabis industry for medical treatment, employment, or entrepreneurial opportunities,” the letter continues.
More Support For Cannabis Reform
Additional names on this newest letter comprise the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. Which are the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association, the American Land and Title Association. As well as the National Bankers Association, the Electronic Transaction Association, and the National Association of REALTORS.
“Time is of the essence. Each day we go without SAFE Banking, workers in cannabis related businesses(CRB), many of whom are veterans, are put in danger due to cash intensive transactions,” the groups said. “We understand that creating a true federal regulatory framework for cannabis is a multi-step process. However, we strongly believe that the SAFE Banking Act is a critical first step to ensure that legal cannabis marketplaces are safe, legal, and transparent.”
CUNA and other credit union associations sent a letter with a related request. This particular message was going to key Senate committee leadership earlier last month. While the Senate has yet to individually add the banking reform language to its version of NDAA. As well supporters want to see the provisions adopted by negotiators in the conference. Following this would be for the final legislation sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.
A Bigger Push For Cannabis Banking Reform
So as Schumer has indicated he’s open to passing banking reform through NDAA. Yet only if it includes social equity requirements. Back in November, a bipartisan alliance of two dozen governors came together. This alliance was done to urge Congress to finally enact marijuana banking. Recently a group of small marijuana business owners also made some interesting points. The business owners that incremental banking reform could really help support social equity ventures.
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Final Thoughts On Marijuana Banking
Rodney Hood, a board member of the National Credit Union Administration, recently wrote a message. The letter said that legalization is an inevitability. And it makes the most sense for government agencies to get ahead of the policy change. Which would be done to resolve banking complications now.
Meanwhile, an official with the Internal Revenue Service said that the agency would like to “get paid,” and it’d help if the marijuana industry had access to banks like companies in other legal markets so they could more easily comply with tax laws.
Federal data shows that many financial institutions remain hesitant to take on cannabis companies as clients, however, which is likely due to the fact that the plant is a strictly controlled substance under federal law.