Lawmakers Implant Cannabis Banking Reform in National Defense Bill

Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is “still pretty upset” that cannabis financing reform was left out from a defense bill earlier this month—evidently at the direction of the Democratic Senate administration. Despite this, Perlmutter expressed in an interview with a known cannabis news source that the congressional discussion that thereafter ensued has furthered the cause of cannabis banking reform nonetheless.

Looking forward, the Secure and Fair Enforcement, also known as the SAFE Banking Act backer witnesses additional chances to enact the legislation as a component of other large-scale measures if the U.S. Senate stays reluctant to embrace the standalone bill. He’s had discussions with House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding the bill.

Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) also informed a known cannabis news source that backers remain uncompromising about finding an avenue to cannabis banking reform passage despite the recent lapse.

Blumenauer, who also issued a memorandum reflecting on the year’s advancement on cannabis reform and outlining prerogatives for 2022 this week, stated during an interview with journalists that he’s “discovered how to be patient” regarding cannabis banking reform on Capitol Hill.

“We’re playing the long match here, and we are in the best spot we’ve ever been with the U.S. Senate,” Blumenauer stated. “I’m sure, when we get these together, that we’ll be able to advance the measures.”

Earlier this year, the congressional discussion over SAFE Banking has split confident lawmakers and cannabis banking reform advocates. They share the end goal of doing away with cannabis criminalization. Despite this, there’s friction between the sensible desire to pursue bipartisan lawmaking that’s more gradual but has the votes to enact now and the put forth more comprehensive cannabis banking reform that will take a while to assemble support.

Despite the legislators’ optimism, it doesn’t take the pain out of the latest flubbed attempt to secure protections for banks working with state-legal cannabis businesses. On the other hand, the House of Representatives had enacted the cannabis banking reform as part of its rendition of the National Defense Authorization Act, or the NDAA, only to have the measure stalled following bicameral talks.

“By including [cannabis banking reform] in the NDAA, we brought it up several leagues in terms of the awareness that the U.S. Senate had to bring to the SAFE Banking Act,” Perlmutter expressed to a known cannabis news source in a phone interview earlier this week.

And while he continues to be frustrated over dormancy on cannabis policy reform in the United States Senate, he stated he’s “fairly encouraged by the discussion that developed” following the filing of an amendment in the House of Representatives Rules Committee to reinstall the measure into the defense bill—even if he eventually decided not to thrust a vote and risk imploding the entire NDAA deal that materialized out of bicameral talks.

Despite this, he and other House of Representatives legislators have signaled that the days of playing fair with the U.S. Senate and wishing that the other governing body will get around to bringing up cannabis banking reform at its own speed are over.

Blumenauer expressed to a known cannabis news source on Thursday that “it’s very obvious that this is the final time that we’re going to bypass the showdown on cannabis banking reform” without blowing up grander bills if it comes to that. Perlmutter projected similar statements during the Rules meeting earlier this month.

It was no mystery that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) posed an impediment to enacting cannabis banking reform via the NDAA, as he’s frequently stated that he believes thorough reform to end federal cannabis prohibition and put in position a regulatory framework should come foremost. Perlmutter stated the leader’s last word nailed the coffin on enacting cannabis banking reform as a portion of the defense bill.

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