Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is actively working to secure Republican support for the long-awaited marijuana banking reform bill. Schumer has invested considerable political capital in advancing the SAFER Banking Act. The proposed legislation, if enacted, would prevent federal regulators from penalizing financial institutions for providing essential services like bank accounts, payroll services, and credit card transaction processing to marijuana businesses that are legal at the state level. The SAFER Banking Act underwent two Senate hearings this year, with approval during a significant… Read more.
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New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a bill designed to facilitate banking compliance between licensed cannabis businesses and financial institutions. The measure, Senate Bill S1047, was sponsored by Senator Jeremy Cooney and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, both Democrats. Hochul signed the bill on November 17, more than five months after the New York state legislature passed the measure during the summer. “Big News!” Cooney wrote on X after the Democratic governor signed the measure into law. “This bill is an important first… Read more.
Switzerland will allow Europe’s first non-medical cannabis dispensaries to open and operate as part of a study to examine how controlled access to legal cannabis may affect health and consumption patterns of regular cannabis consumers. An announcement was made Friday about “Grashaus Projects” by German CBD and cannabinoid research company Sanity Group which said that in tandem with the Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research, their initiative to dispense legal cannabis to a small area in Switzerland called Basel-Landschaft had been… Read more.
States that legalize marijuana for adults see moderate economic gains after the policy change is implement but also experience an increase in social costs including substance use disorders, chronic homelessness and arrests. That’s the upshot of a new report recently published by researchers at the Kansas City arm of the Federal Reserve Bank. “Although some of our estimates are noisy,” authors wrote in the new paper, “our findings suggest that the economic benefits of legalization are broadly distributed, while the… Read more.
The lead GOP Senate cosponsor of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill says a planned floor vote is on pause until he can ensure the legislation will later pass the Republican-controlled House, according to a cannabis financing executive who spoke with the senator this week. While the House prospects of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act have long factored into Senate leadership’s thinking, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) apparently made it clear in his conversation with Pelorus Capital Group… Read more.
The refreshing wave of good news from Washington DC that buoyed the U.S. marijuana industry in late summer might have peaked, with fresh hurdles emerging that could make it harder for Congress to pass cannabis banking reform. On the bright side: Multiple Capitol Hill observers told MJBizDaily the odds remain good that the U.S. Senate will pass the SAFER Banking Act, which would provide protections from federal prosecution for financial institutions offering services to state-legal marijuana businesses. The legislation passed a key Senate… Read more.
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was the sole Democrat to vote against a marijuana banking reform bill during a committee markup last month. In a new interview, the senator described his vote as an effort at making important equity improvements while there’s still a chance to do so. “I’m worried that if we pass a bill with all of the fees and the revenue that comes, and not begin to address the issue of restorative justice, we’re not going to go… Read more.
A bipartisan marijuana banking measure has received the Senate Banking Committee's unanimous support, marking a historic development in the ongoing struggle to address the intricate financial issues affecting the cannabis industry according to Reuters.This landmark decision has significant ramifications for a sector that has struggled for years with regulations that have largely compelled legitimate cannabis businesses to function primarily in cash. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, supported by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), is the fundamental… Read more.
With Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ousted as House speaker in a historic vote to vacate the position on Tuesday, cannabis policy observers are wondering how the new GOP leadership will approach marijuana banking, legalization and other reform issues. Who will take the speakership is yet to be seen, but so far Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) have announced they are running for the top House position. Based on their records, marijuana reform advocates… Read more.
Banking institutions are engaging in a competitive race to accommodate cannabis businesses in anticipation of forthcoming alterations in the federal classification of cannabis, as national data indicates. Although cannabis remains federally prohibited, a pivotal shift is on the horizon due to the U.S. Health & Human Services Department's (HHS) recommendation to reclassify cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) reports a notable surge in banking institutions actively seeking partnerships with cannabis businesses. This… Read more.
A cannabis banking bill was revised in several different ways under an amendment adopted by the Senate Banking Committee during Wednesday’s markup, according to text that has not yet been officially posted by the panel but which was obtained by Marijuana Moment. As the debate started, the committee first approved the amendment from Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), which was described as a mix of technical changes and revisions requested by bipartisan members. It touches on issues related to federal guidance for banks… Read more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the bipartisan committee vote to advance a marijuana banking bill on Wednesday “underscores how much momentum we have right now” as he plans to bring the legislation to the floor “soon” and attach “very significant criminal justice provisions.” In a floor speech on Thursday, Schumer said he’s “really proud of the bipartisan deal we produced” ahead of the Senate Banking Committee markup that saw the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act pass in… Read more.
A key US Senate panel on Wednesday approved a bill designed to give regulated cannabis companies easier access to common business banking services. The newly revised bill, now titled the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, was passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan vote of 14-9. The measure was introduced in the Senate last week by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill is an amended version of the Secure and… Read more.
The cannabis-friendly Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act is on its way to a floor vote in the Senate after the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs passed the bipartisan legislation. The 14-9 vote represented the first time the Senate has addressed banking reform. The SAFER Act closely resembles similar legislation, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act, that has passed the House with bipartisan support seven times. Both bills would provide “safe harbor” protections to financial institutions that serve… Read more.
A bipartisan coalition of 22 state attorneys general is calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill that cleared a key Senate committee on Wednesday. In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday, the top law enforcement officials of nearly half the states in the U.S. said they have a “strong interest in enabling economic growth and stability while simultaneously protecting the physical and economic wellbeing of constituents working in this industry.” Citing the fact that a majority of states… Read more.
Long-awaited federal cannabis banking reform is expected to sail through a key U.S. Senate panel hearing Wednesday, which would be the first time the landmark legislation has secured a yes vote in the upper chamber of Congress. But after that, prospects for the bipartisan and heavily negotiated SAFER Banking Act are much less certain, multiple cannabis industry observers told MJBizDaily. For once, negative attitudes toward marijuana wouldn’t be to blame. Instead, the obstacle is the chaos currently enveloping Congress, where a government shutdown… Read more.
A group that represents state lawmakers across the U.S. is urging Senate leaders to pass a bipartisan marijuana banking bill to provide a “much-needed solution” to the “unsafe and untenable” challenges that the cannabis industry faces under prohibition. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) CEO Tim Storey expressed the organization’s support for the revised Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER)… Read more.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says a bipartisan marijuana banking will pass “decisively” out of his panel next week, as senators discuss possible tweaks on its path to the floor and anti-drug advocates decry the reform as a public safety hazard. The revised Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act that’s due for a committee markup next Wednesday might not enjoy the same level of support as other unrelated bills that recently moved out of the panel,… Read more.
Nichole Upshaw, the chief retail and people officer at Florida-based Jushi Holdings, vividly remembers June 24, 2019, her first day working for the multistate operator now active in seven states. “On my first day, the HR employee that was here before I arrived said, ‘If (payroll-services provider) Paychex calls, don’t pick up the phone. They’re trying to kick us off.’” At the time, Jushi had roughly 60 employees, but it was about three weeks from acquiring Beyond Hello, a Pennsylvania-based… Read more.
A marijuana banking bill that’s set for a Senate committee markup next week has an updated title and several new provisions related to federal financial regulations, guidance and reporting requirements, according to a summary that is circulating. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Tuesday he intends to “bring this legislation to the floor with all due speed.” The title of the measure is being extended by one word. The bill that’s being circulated ahead of the Senate Banking… Read more.
Although medical or adult use is legal in thirty-eight states, four United States territories, and Washington D.C., the fight to legalize the plant on a federal level is ongoing. This creates multiple challenges for industry businesses, many of which find themselves operating on a cash-only basis. In fact, Forbes.com recently reported 70 percent of cannabis businesses resort to cash-run operations. “Imagine running a multimillion-dollar business on the envelope system,” Naomi Granger, founder of the National Association of Cannabis Accounting and Tax Professionals,… Read more.
The Senate Banking Committee will not be voting on cannabis banking legislation next week, despite the suggestions of some key insiders and analysts. While top Senate players on both sides of the aisle have indicated that they’re prepared to move the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act this fall after a “productive” August recess, a Banking Committee spokesperson told Marijuana Moment on Monday that the “markup won’t be next week.” To be clear, no lawmakers involved in the legislation have publicly… Read more.
A group opposed to the legalization of marijuana is targeting a financial agreement between Wells Fargo and the state of Maryland. This arrangement enables state officials to collect and manage tax revenue from cannabis businesses operating legally within the state. The advocacy group is denouncing this arrangement as "a deliberate move to shield banks engaged in federal law violations" and is endeavoring to inform federal authorities about it. In response, the state maintains that it is "in adherence to relevant laws and… Read more.
Berkshire Bank, one of the largest banks in Massachusetts, is expanding services for cannabis companies and entrepreneurs nationwide. The new banking unit will be established through a partnership with Florida-based Green Check Verified, a cannabis financial services and software company, to offer a platform for clients to conduct and monitor transactions, according to the Boston Business Journal. Berkshire Bank joins a growing number of Massachusetts financial institutions that are beginning to serve marijuana businesses. Available services for plant-touching, ancillary and… Read more.
When it rains, it pours. And sometimes that’s a good thing. On the heels of the “historic” news last week that the Biden administration is poised to reschedule marijuana, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown told reporters that he believes the SAFE Banking Act may also be ready for prime time, sending another shockwave through the cannabis industry. First, Brown – who chairs the powerful Senate Banking Committee – told Punchbowl News that SAFE could get a committee hearing “in the next six weeks.”… Read more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is reiterating his commitment to advancing marijuana banking reform as the chamber comes back into session from the August recess. In a floor speech on Tuesday, Schumer discussed various legislative priorities for the coming weeks and months. That includes “making progress on cannabis” through the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, he said. However, he stressed that “we are under no illusion that we can make progress on the Senate floor unless we… Read more.
A key Senate committee chairman says that he’s spoken with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about moving bipartisan marijuana banking legislation, which he hopes to advance along with several other priority bills “in the next six weeks.” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told Punchbowl News on Monday that the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is one of the top bills on his fall legislative agenda. And while he didn’t comment on the substance of his conversation… Read more.
During the company’s most recent earnings call, Cresco Labs (CSE: CL) (OTC: CRLBF) CEO Charles Bachtell strongly implied that he believes federal marijuana reform is still on the horizon, despite the lack of progress to date on bills such as the SAFE Banking Act. He’s also not worried about potential disruption or added regulations if marijuana is federally rescheduled. “I’ve spent a lot of time in D.C. this year,” Bachtell said. “There are a lot of constructive conversations happening, and the right… Read more.
The cannabis industry continues to spend millions of dollars on high-powered lobbyists to sway U.S. senators to pass marijuana reform, but those efforts could be thwarted this fall by a government shutdown that threatens to upend Congress’ legislative calendar. U.S. marijuana companies and trade groups spent more than $2.4 million lobbying the U.S. Senate in the first half of 2023, according to the most recent federal lobbying disclosure filings. That’s less than the $2.9 million spent on trying to woo… Read more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says that work continues to pass a bipartisan marijuana banking bill, and another Democratic senator is urging voters to keep up the pressure as lawmakers head back to their districts for the summer. But despite their optimism, a key committee chairman and the measure’s Republican top sponsor are still stuck in an intractable blame game. Action on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is on hold for at least a month as… Read more.
Mastercard’s new hardline demand that banks and payment processors immediately halt cannabis transactions involving its debit card has upended the marijuana industry and put more licensed operators at financial risk, industry insiders told MJBizDaily. The latest development, first reported by Bloomberg, is expected to affect adult-use and medical marijuana retailers the most as well as their customers. Those consumers will likely revert back to the days of cash-only transactions – a throwback in an era when digital wallets are used to buy… Read more.
A bill to give cannabis operators access to common banking services will not see a vote in the US Senate this summer, according to media reports, despite the hopes of Democratic leaders and businesses in the regulated marijuana industry. Don Murphy, a lobbyist with the Marijuana Leadership Campaign, revealed on social media on July 20 that Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, told him that the legislation, known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement… Read more.
First reported by Marijuana Moment, a Republican senator has voiced skepticism regarding Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's ambitious plan to address marijuana banking and other legislative priorities during the summer session. Senator John Cornyn believes that Schumer's proposed timeline is unrealistic, deeming it wishful thinking to expect the successful completion of all the necessary items within the limited timeframe. As the debate over cannabis banking reform intensifies, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passage remains uncertain. Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator… Read more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is highlighting marijuana banking reform is one of several key legislative priorities that he intends to push through using bipartisan cooperation when the Senate reconvenes next month. The Republican sponsor of the cannabis bill, meanwhile, says this is the “best” time to get the job done—but cautioned that passage could be jeopardized if Democrats move to significantly expand the scope of the legislation. In the first half of this year, the majority leader was… Read more.
The issue of marijuana banking has been a longstanding concern within the cannabis industry. Despite previous bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, the SAFE Banking Act has faced challenges reaching the president's desk. However, there is optimism that the current situation may differ. Are you going to fall for the "banana in the tailpipe", again as far as SAFE Banking is about to pass? Cannabis.net has always stood by the statement that, "Weed will be federally legally, when Mitch McConnell say… Read more.
Although federal regulations make providing banking services to the legal cannabis industry a regulatory burden, some banks have opted to offer financial products to regulated cannabis businesses. One such institution was Signature Bridge Bank, which was seized by federal regulators earlier this year after suffering a liquidity crunch tied in part to investments in the cryptocurrency market. On March 12, 2023, the New York State Department of Financial Services took possession of Signature Bridge Bank to protect depositors and appointed… Read more.
A coalition of marijuana advocacy groups is asking that a bipartisan marijuana banking bill be expanded to include provisions ensuring that cannabis businesses have access to all forms of financial services—including the ability to be listed on senior U.S. stock exchanges. In a letter sent to Senate Banking Committee leadership on Thursday, the coalition SAFE Banking for Equity said that it appreciates that the panel is “treating this issue with the urgency it demands” by holding a hearing focused on cannabis… Read more.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says a committee vote on a marijuana banking bill will be scheduled “in the near future” following an initial hearing on Thursday—and he is reiterating plans to attach criminal justice reform provisions to the financial services measure. In a speech on the floor on Thursday evening, Schumer said that the Senate Banking Committee meeting represented a “big step” for the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which was refiled by Sens. Jeff Merkley… Read more.
Members of the U.S. Senate Committee of Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs are scheduled to discuss legislation tomorrow, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, that seeks to normalize relations between state-licensed cannabis businesses and financial institutions. The advancement of the SAFE Banking Act is crucial to the health and safety of the tens of millions of consumers who patronize state-legal cannabis markets. That is because, under current federal law, the multi-billion-dollar state-legal cannabis market must operate largely as a cash-only business. This makes state-licensed cannabis… Read more.
Cannabis stocks have scored a boost from optimism around Thursday’s hearing on a bill that would protect banks that work with the industry, but some analysts are downbeat on the SAFE Banking Act’s chances of becoming law. “We believe the cannabis banking effort faces an uphill climb in this Congress, but there will be mile markers on the road ahead that could make us more optimistic,” said BTIG’s Isaac Boltansky and Isabel Bandoroff in a note. “Before lining up for… Read more.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) is renewing its call for the passage of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill that was refiled last month. Days before the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue at a marijuana-focused hearing, ABA sent a letter to congressional leadership voicing “strong support” for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The association said that this “important legislation would help bring certainty to an important issue that has become a challenge for so many… Read more.
The tone in the North American cannabis industry over the past several months has been one of harsh realities and unprecedented struggles for everyone from small local growers to large multistate operators. Meanwhile, hope for federal legalization seems to lessen with every passing year. Unsurprisingly, as the United States industry chugs along in limbo, other countries see progress almost overnight. If countries like Germany are the hare, the U.S. definitely is the tortoise. Beyond the obvious challenges of banking, Internal Revenue… Read more.
A key Senate committee chairman said on Thursday that a hearing on a bipartisan marijuana banking bill could be scheduled as early as next week, adding that lawmakers are going to “move quickly on it.” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told NBC News reporters that his panel could hold a hearing on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act as soon as next Thursday, May 11. While a hearing hasn’t been formally scheduled yet, the comments come as senators… Read more.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of 1970, also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, requires banks and other financial institutions to report cash deposits over $10,000 in order to help the federal government detect and/or prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. Financial institutions are subject to audits by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to make sure they are in compliance with BSA reporting and recordkeeping requirements. It is extremely important for plant-touching businesses to understand… Read more.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would free up banking services for the cannabis industry. NBC News Congressional Correspondent Julie Tsirkin travels to Montana to talk to cannabis business owners about some of the challenges they face. (Full Story) Read more.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) says that lawmakers are working to “resurrect” a package of marijuana reform legislation from last session, acknowledging that failure to advance a banking fix for the industry “literally means that hundreds of businesses go out of business.” Advocates with the non-profit Minorities for Medical Marijuana (MMM) approached Booker following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on unrelated issues on Thursday, urging the senator to push for passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to… Read more.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) isn’t good news for anyone. Bank collapses portend wider threats to the economy – the Great Depression is one such example – particularly when they derive from an eroding capital base resulting from the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to battle inflation. It is estimated that more than 50% of venture-backed companies used Santa Clara, California-headquartered SVB as their depository and financing institution. Wealth management, currency hedges, stock placements, you name it: SVB was the… Read more.
Cannabis News Around The World: Banking Solutions For Malta Weed Clubs, Netherlands’ Pot Sales Experiment, MMJ Decriminalization In Philippines, And More
Malta Government Helps Nonprofit Cannabis Clubs Access Banking Services A new measure in Malta will allow cannabis users to buy their weed at nonprofit cannabis clubs. The Minister for Reform Rebecca Buttigieg, and the Authority for Responsible Consumption of Cannabis Leonid McKay, highlighted it was the first legal framework of its kind in Europe and noted it was a "pioneering" legal measure, while those seeking to apply for a license could do it through Malta's Authority for the Responsible Use of Cannabis (ARUC), starting on Feb. 28. According to Malta… Read more.
With penalties and fees, the money owed to the state could top $500 million. The California cannabis industry as a whole owes the state a quarter billion in unpaid taxes, according to state data and industry experts. With added fees, that total could easily balloon into a $500 million tax tab. To combat the rising debt trend, collections efforts appear to be ramping up, even against companies that have gone out of business. As of Dec. 2, the cannabis sector… Read more.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new poll has revealed a majority of American voters support allowing legal cannabis businesses to access banking services. The survey, conducted by Morning Consult for Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), found 65 percent of voters support modest cannabis reform, and most respondents feel banking access will promote social equity and improve public safety. Among business owners, the lack of access to banking or investment capital was ranked as the top issue facing the U.S. cannabis industry… Read more.