Home Legislative Senate Schedules Hearing on Cannabis Banking Bill

Senate Schedules Hearing on Cannabis Banking Bill

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Cannabis banking reform has come to Capitol Hill. The Senate has tentatively scheduled a hearing that would address the lack of access that cannabis businesses have when it comes to banking and financial services. The Federal Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs made the decision and it was aimed at finding a solution for the banking problem that many legal cannabis businesses face. 

As it currently stands, legal cannabis locations like retail stores and dispensaries can only accept cash, due to the continued prohibition of the plant at the federal level. This bill could potentially change that – and finally begin to put legal cannabis businesses on par with every other legitimate business. 

The hearing will be held before the Senate on July 23rd, called “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives”. The hearing will include testimony from sponsors of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (S. 1200) and representatives of the legal cannabis, financial, and credit union industries.

Due to ridiculous current federal law and regulations, any money received by legal cannabis businesses is still seen as drug money and money laundering. This means that any money received from legal cannabis in any state is still viewed as a federal crime. This has forced dispensaries and legal cannabis retailers to only deal in cash. Accepting only cash brings about a plethora of security issues, both at the location and in transport to banks. 

There are several witnesses who are ready to testify at the hearing. They include Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the sponsor of the SAFE Act, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado who is one of the 31 Senate co-sponsors of the bill. It’s great to see that lawmakers are taking action in support of the legitimate legal cannabis industry. More should follow suit, as it’s not appropriate for cannabis businesses to have to live in the shadows any longer. 

This hearing will hopefully address these issues, and bring legal cannabis businesses up to speed with those in other industries. Liquor stores clearly don’t have to deal with this nonsense, so why should legal cannabis stores have to? 

What do you think? Will this hearing lead to better financial access for legal cannabis locations? Or is it just more smoke and mirrors from politicians who like to hear themselves talk?

2 COMMENTS

  1. The obvious solution is to carefully deschedule cannabis, which is a limited form of legalization.

    Carefully descheduling cannabis will address the banking problem, the justice problem, the lack of research problem, etc., while retaining marijuana in Schedule 1 until the issues with cannabis become familiarized. The adulterated medical value that marijuana itself derives from cannabis can then be separately considered to determine whether to also deschedule marijuana, or to reschedule it.

    We the People can contact our members of Congress, especially if they are on the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, about carefully descheduling cannabis by reconstructing the malformed federal definition like this:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

    This definition reconstructs the existing malformed definition to reveal its currently adumbrated meaning by clearly describing how marijuana is actually derived from cannabis, and it preserves the legitimate federal prohibitions that control the undesired proliferation of marijuana itself.

    By legislatively reconstructing the definition of marijuana to be accurate, it will override the long standing federal misconstruction that marijuana means “all parts of the plant”. It will reinforce the Well Regulated Militia Clause of the 2nd Amendment, and create an age restriction, to preserve careful use of cannabis by the people, like the 9th Amendment established. It will return control of cannabis “to the States respectively, or to the people”, like the 10th amendment established. It will restore and protect the exclusive “privileges and immunities of citizens” to grow cannabis unabridged by the states, like Section 1 of the 14th Amendment established. It will also oblige corporations to outsource their supplies of cannabis from citizens fairly competing in the supply-side of a diversified cannabis market, but permit corporations to develop quality products from cannabis, while precluding corporations from enticing children to “smoke marijuana”.

    The adumbrated meaning can be recognized by solving the riddle embedded within the malformed definition: What is “all parts of the plant”, and simultaneously “does not include the mature stalks”? A “necessary and proper” federal law can’t contain a riddle. Try to find the riddle within the malformed definition from the Farm Bill of 2018:

    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

    This is the definition of hemp from the Farm Bill of 2018:

    SEC. 297A.(1) HEMP. The term “hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

    Notice that the definition of hemp mentions THC, but the definition of marijuana does not. That could mean that cannabis with over 0.3% THC is not hemp, but it would also not be marijuana, it would just be cannabis, for citizens to produce.

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