It’s 4/20 week, and you are probably being flooded with marijuana-related promotions, ads, and invitations, but please take a moment to read this message and take action to help us change federal marijuana law.
Back in February, the House of Representatives approved a massive economic package called the America COMPETES Act, which contained an amendment from Rep. Ed Perlmutter to include the SAFE Banking Act in the legislation. This is the sixth time that the House has approved this popular reform.
Unfortunately, the Senate continued to punt on this incremental but important issue by passing a companion bill that removed the SAFE Banking language. The legislation now moves to conference committee where the House and Senate versions will be reconciled, and the Senate is the biggest hurdle to keeping cannabis banking reform in the final compromise bill.
Currently, small marijuana-related businesses are suffering from a lack of traditional lending and simple banking services. Because of this, they are increasingly the targets of robberies, some of which have resulted in fatalities in recent months. Inaction on SAFE Banking is limiting opportunities and literally costing lives.
If these state-licensed businesses are to have a chance at success and keep their employees and customers safe, and to be competitive with the growing legal international market when prohibition finally ends, we need to act NOW to provide them with relief and treat them like businesses in any other industry. This measure is just one step, but an important one towards creating a regulated cannabis market that benefits consumers and entrepreneurs.