All 50 states’ banking associations, as well as several financial, union and insurance organizations, are urging the Senate committee to enact a cannabis banking bill as soon as feasible. Several state and national organizations wrote to the Senate Banking Committee’s leadership, urging prompt action on the SAFE Banking Act.
Among those voicing support for the act are the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a coalition of trade associations representing the insurance industry and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Separately, the national ABA wrote to Congressional leadership urging prompt adoption of the SAFE Banking Act.
In a letter to the Senate sponsors of the Act, the ICBA stated that the proposed legislation will address a significant public safety issue and settle a discrepancy between state and federal law. A different letter from the Teamsters Union’s president stated that the banking bill would significantly increase workplace safety by enabling banks and other financial institutions to offer services to legal marijuana-related businesses.
In a single letter, nine distinct insurance trade organizations stated that the varying legal statuses of cannabis and cannabis-related products under state and federal law, as well as state regulation, could expose their sector to liability. The organizations suggested that the bill be changed to incorporate clauses from a newly reintroduced measure that would give insurance providers that collaborate with cannabis firms more protection.
Senators from both sides have pushed for swift action on the standalone bill, which would shield banks from federal regulators’ penalties when they deal with state-legal marijuana businesses. Senator Sherrod Brown, chairman of the banking committee, recently stated that he expected senators to move swiftly on the banking act, and that has been the case so far. A week or so after being reintroduced in both chambers, the announcement of a date for its hearing was made.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that he would bring the bill to the floor if it passed the committee. He also underlined that it would be altered to include provisions for expungements.
The standalone banking bill is one of the most likely marijuana laws to pass this session in a GOP-controlled House. It has been passed in some form by the House on generally bipartisan lines multiple times in recent years, but both Republican and Democratic leadership in the Senate have failed to move it forward.
The challenge of limited access to banking services that marijuana companies face aren’t experienced in the operations of other entities such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC), which are engaged in studying cannabis compounds with a view to developing formulations that meet FDA criteria for approval.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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