The number of Democratic and Republican senators showing their support for including marijuana banking in the COMPETES Act is growing, and this suggests that not all is lost in regards to enacting a marijuana policy reform this year.
It should be noted that the marijuana banking bill was left out of the Senate version of the Innovation & Competitiveness Bill approved by the Senate, but it was included in the version passed by the House of Representatives. A bicameral conference has been established to work on the language of the final text, which will be forwarded to the desk of the president for enactment. Support is growing to include marijuana banking in that final text.
Senator Patty Murray, the third-most ranking Democrat in the upper legislative chamber, has taken the lead in urging fellow legislators in the Senate to support the inclusion of cannabis banking in the manufacturing law, which will be sent to President Joseph Biden. Murray says that she is using every way available to fight for the inclusion of marijuana banking. She notes that at the moment, the marijuana industry has been forced to operate on cash-only terms, and this puts employees and patrons of marijuana businesses in danger. She adds that this danger can be alleviated, and the bicameral conference discussions offer an opportunity to do just that.
Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, agrees with Murray and adds that he thinks that other Republican senators can support the banking legislation. He points out that the bill already has the support of nine GOP senators, and he believes that many more would cast their vote in support of the cannabis banking measure should it ever be put up for a vote, even as a standalone piece of legislation.
The legislators selected to serve as conferees have until August to work out the final text of the innovativeness and manufacturing bill so that as attention shifts to the upcoming midterms, this crucial piece of legislation will have been completed. Legislative work has been known to grind to a crawling pace as attention shifts to the elections.
It is noteworthy that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been opposed to passing cannabis banking legislation without addressing social equity issues and expunging nonviolent marijuana convictions. Since no new provisions can be added to the SAFE Banking Act during conference sittings, it is highly likely that Schumer could try and block the banking provisions from inclusion in the text sent to the president.
It remains to be seen whether the spate of violent robberies targeting cannabis shops will impress upon the conferees the urgent need to allow marijuana firms to have access to banking services. Once that banking is permitted, it will create a trickle-down effect that extends to entities that don’t touch the plant directly but are enablers of the industry in one way or the other, such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX).
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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