The Return of the SAFE Banking Act: Week in Review
This week’s big news turns our attention to Washington, D.C., where U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) reintroduced the SAFE Banking Act—this time with more than 100 bipartisan cosponsors. It’s yet another opportunity for his House colleagues to approve the banking reform bill, and the 2021 outlook is slightly brighter with a thin Democratic edge in the U.S. Senate.
Who knows what will happen? Democratic senators have promised “comprehensive” cannabis legislation in the coming weeks or months, so it remains to be seen how the federal government under a Biden administration will address the increasingly hard-to-ignore problem of cannabis prohibition.
Of course, that’s not the only headline in cannabis this week. States around the U.S. are moving on cannabis proposals at a lively clip previously unseen in this industry. Optimism abounds, though there are many angles and causes for political debate.
We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here.
- Without banking reform, like the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which was reintroduced by Rep. Ed. Perlmutter (D-CO) in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 18, financial institutions that work with cannabis clients have yet to receive full confidence in safe harbor at the federal level. According to Perlmutter, passage of SAFE Banking would allow cannabis-related businesses in states with some form of legalization and strict regulatory structures to access the banking system. Read more
- Three bills, which were passed by the Denver Finance and Governance Committee on March 16, would allow cannabis delivery, cannabis hospitality businesses and on-site smoking. They stand a good chance of passing into law. Read more
- At the state level in Colorado, a draft bill reveals one legislator’s 15% THC content proposal for cannabis products across the board. It’s up for debate, however, but the low-potency threshold certainly got the attention of the state’s cannabis industry. Read more
- Oklahoma may make it a bit more challenging for businesses to enter the medical cannabis industry, as the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would put a temporary license cap on medical cannabis businesses. Read more
- Want to follow the Emerald Cup festivities this year? The cannabis competition is going virtual with a new streaming option on SocialClub TV. Read more
And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:
- The Daily Beast: “Dozens of young White House staffers have been suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use, frustrating staffers who were pleased by initial indications from the Biden administration that recreational use of cannabis would not be immediately disqualifying for would-be personnel, according to three people familiar with the situation.” Read more
- Associated Press: “Legislation to legalize cannabis in New Mexico advanced Thursday toward a decisive Senate floor vote under a framework that emphasizes government oversight of pricing and supplies along with social services for communities where the criminalization of pot has led to aggressive policing.” Read more
- Yahoo! Finance: “Another quarter of financial metrics from U.S. cannabis company Green Thumb Industries topping Wall Street expectations was marked with at least two price target upgrades Thursday.” Read more
- Baltimore Fishbowl: “A bill set to legalize recreational cannabis in Maryland aims to give back to the community.” Read more
- Spectrum Local News: “[New York] State lawmakers are close to reaching an agreement on legalizing adult use cannabis in New York, but a familiar hurdle to its final passage remains: Reconciling the concerns raised by some Democratic lawmakers over traffic safety.” Read more