The SAFE Banking Act, a bipartisan measure that was reintroduced last month, was recently discussed by the Senate Banking Committee. While the legislation has already been approved by the House of Representatives on numerous occasions, the Senate has never voted on the measure. This is despite Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voicing his support for the proposal.
It is believed that if the bill were to advance to the president’s desk, he would sign it.
The measure’s approval would prohibit federal banking regulators from penalizing financial institutions that provide basic banking services to cannabis businesses in legal states. Its introduction buoyed shares in publicly traded multistate operators a fortnight ago, which observers cite as a sign of how little progress Congress has made on cannabis reform since the inception of the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry.
The hearing by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee isn’t final, however; it is just a requirement for a committee vote and, in turn, floor consideration. The witnesses called to appear before the committee included Senators Steve Daines and Jeff Merkley, who previously sponsored the measure.
In an email, a spokesperson for Daines revealed that the senator was glad that a hearing had finally been scheduled for this banking measure. The spokesperson added that the senator believed that there was strong bipartisan support in the senate for the bill. It is expected that the bill will soon be advanced to the senate floor, with committee chair Senator Sherrod Brown vowing that a separate committee hearing with a markup would follow the initial meeting.
However, experts note that the measure doesn’t require a committee vote or a markup to be enacted. They also highlight that efforts to attach the banking resolution to other bills such as the annual defense spending bill failed in the previous congress.
Many feel that the odds of the proposal being approved remain long. For a debate on a measure to end, 60 votes are needed under the cloture rule in the Senate. Some have also pointed out that earlier this year, the senate considered and rejected a marijuana question.
Last month, a motion to end debate and hold a vote on a measure that would allow the Veterans Administration to conduct clinical studies on the effectiveness of marijuana for PTSD and chronic pain in military veterans was rejected with a lone abstention. The director of Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy, John Hudak, is also skeptical about whether the 118th Congress will push the measure through.
If cannabis banking is finally permitted under federal law, the cannabis industry could see massive growth as access to funding improves. That would, in turn, also boost the prospects for ancillary companies, such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX), which focus on meeting the needs of companies that are dealing directly in marijuana or its products.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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