Laws that would legitimize finances for the medical marijuana industry will not be heard in the lame duck session.
Senate guidance would not include the Safe and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (HR 1996) in a defense budget bill last week. The measure also failed to make it into an ongoing resolution that ensures the federal government remains funded into the new year.
That means the measure, passed in the House of Representatives last April, is likely dead for the 117th Congress. Florida medical cannabis leaders say this is a missed opportunity for a growing industry.
“We are deeply disappointed by the leadership on both sides of the aisle and the lack of action on SAFE Banking over the past two years,” he said Kim RiversCEO of verily.
“Despite significant bipartisan support within Congress and growing popularity among voters, cannabis reform to allow for basic banking services for state-owned legal cannabis companies has again failed to make headway. As a result, the 425,000 employees who work in the legal cannabis industry will continue to be at undue risk of robbery and economic harm. Trulieve will continue to fight for meaningful cannabis reform to make cannabis safer and more accessible for our employees.”
The House of Representatives passed the bill by a solid 321-101 votes last year. No Democrat voted against it, and all 10 Democrats representing Florida supported the legislation. Meanwhile, 106 Republicans approved the bill and only 101 voted no. Similarly, the bill divided the Florida delegation but had the support of Florida representatives. Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Brian Mast, Maria Elvira Salazar, Greg Steube and Mike Walz.
Perhaps more important than the party, that means every member of the Florida congressional delegation under the age of 50 supports the bill.
If passed, the law would make it illegal to penalize banking institutions for providing cannabis-related services to businesses.
The fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law has made banking difficult even in states like Florida where selling medicinal cannabis is legal. Wells Fargo notorious in 2018 closed campaign accounts Per Nicki Fried — who would win the race for agriculture commissioners anyway — because marijuana companies had donated.
Though advances have been made, medical marijuana remains a logistically difficult business. Pharmacies have to work cash only because financial institutions, for example, will not facilitate transactions over their networks and many banks will not work with companies in the cannabis trade.
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https://floridapolitics.com/archives/577310-medical-cannabis-leaders-frustrated-as-safe-banking-act-dies-in-congress/ Medical cannabis leaders frustrated as SAFE Banking Act dies in Congress