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Cannabis Industry Goes All-In on Banking Push Before Midterms

The #cannabis industry is pushing #lawmakers to get a #marijuana reform bill to #President #Biden’s desk before the #November midterms, fearing that a #Republican takeover of #Congress could doom its chances. In an in-person lobbying blitz last week, more than 20 chief executives of top cannabis companies urged lawmakers in both parties to pass the #SAFE Banking Act, a bill to allow them to work with #US #banks that the industry is confident will win enough #GOP support to pass the Senate. “There is certainly momentum building around trying to get something done this year in the #Senate. On both the Republican and #Democratic side we’re seeing consensus for SAFE Banking as being the piece of legislation that could pass,” #Curaleaf #CEO Joe Bayern said in an interview.

The lobbying campaign comes as Democrats debate how to tackle marijuana reforms, with leading Senate Democrats pushing for a comprehensive bill to decriminalize #recreational #pot nationally and expunge past convictions. Cannabis companies say they support those reforms, but stress that an all-encompassing #decriminalization bill would not receive the 60 #votes it needs to get through the evenly divided Senate.

Cannabis industry CEOs met with 60 congressional offices during last week’s fly-in, which was organized by the U.S. Cannabis #Council, a leading industry trade group. During those meetings, they also urged lawmakers to modify a section of the #tax code that prevents marijuana #businesses from taking tax deductions, a change that lawmakers are less likely to make.

The executives said that both Democrats and Republicans have a much greater understanding and acceptance of the industry than in years past, an evolution they attribute to skyrocketing public support for #weed legalization.

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