Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sixth Time The Charm? Marijuana Banking Bill Sponsor Optimistic About Senate Approval

By Jelena Martinovic

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives formally attached a cannabis banking reform amendment to large-scale legislation dealing with innovation and manufacturing.

Following the approval of the amendment from sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on a voice vote as part of an ‘en bloc group’ with other amendments, the chamber passed the package on Feb. 3 in a 262-168 vote.

cannabis money banking
Photo by mekcar/Getty Images

One Way Or Another

On the heels of its latest and sixth attempt to get the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act across the finish line, Perlmutter discussed some of the prospects of his proposal in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Friday.

While Senate leadership has pushed to pass comprehensive legalization first, the congressman is optimistic regarding his bipartisan incremental reform, Marijuana Moment writes.

“Every [House] Democrat and at least half the Republicans have supported SAFE Banking, and I am confident that the Senate will take it up,” Perlmutter said.

RELATED: House Approves Marijuana Banking Bill, Attaches It To America COMPETES Act

Commenting on  efforts of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his colleagues to legalize the plant and their prioritization of the broad legalization legislation, which they plan to officially file in April, he said that he’s “questioned whether they have the votes to get something of that magnitude through the Senate, which has not even had a hearing really on marijuana in 50 plus years.”

Nevertheless, Perlmutter, who is retiring at the end of the session, said that he intends to “keep working with the Senate, working with Schumer’s office, working with [Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ)] office working with [Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)], a Republican who is championing this bill in the Senate, and we’re going to get it across the finish line.

RELATED: Financial Regulator Calls Lack Of Banking Access In Cannabis A Serious Market Failure

“I am really pretty confident about it, whether it’s with the [the America COMPETES Act] or something else, we’re going to get it done,” Perlmutter continued.

How Cannabis Banking Bill Fares In Senate Will Dictate Future Of National Marijuana Reform
Photo by krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, the congressmen said that the proposal might be further amended now that Democratic leadership is suggesting that it’s too narrow.

“They’re in support of it, but they just want to try to get some bigger pieces to it,” Perlmutter said. “If they can add research, if they can add some criminal justice reform, if they can add some taxation components, I’m all for it. But we need to get something passed and on to the president this year.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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