America’s state-legal cannabis industry has had quite a run, creating thousands of job opportunities, providing states with millions of dollars in tax revenue, and changing the lives of thousands of individuals with prior cannabis-related offenses. Despite achieving so much in a relatively short time, the sector has a lot stacked against it due to its status as a controlled substance at the federal level. One major challenge the industry has faced so far is lack of access to financial services, as banks and lending institutions shy away from working with cannabis businesses.
According to a Congressman who has been an ardent supporter of cannabis reform, financial institutions may soon be able to work with state-legal cannabis businesses without fear of federal reprisals. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Act, which protects banks working with cannabis businesses, was reintroduced in the House and will advance, said co-sponsor Earl Blumenauer during a press call alongside other co-sponsors of the bill.
Lawmakers plan to pass the banking legislation first before they begin working on more comprehensive legalization legislation because lack of banking access has become a public safety crisis, Blumenauer says. With banks staying away from marijuana businesses, those businesses are forced to work on a cash-only basis, making them prime targets for theft and burglary. The coronavirus pandemic added additional risk, placing workers in situations where handling cash may increase their risk of infection. Even though comprehensive cannabis reform will eventually come, the banking issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible, Blumenauer says.
Not everyone was of that opinion, with some advocates arguing back in 2019 that Congress should have focused on comprehensive cannabis reform, specifically social equity, instead of banking. Sherrod Brown, the newly appointed Banking Committee Chair, is of the same school of thought.
He has said that he is willing to hold a hearing on the banking reform legislation on the condition that it is passed together with provisions that aid individuals with prior cannabis-related offenses. Thousands of lives have been ruined by the failed war on drugs, and lawmakers need to figure out how to help everyone in prison because of cannabis-related offenses before he can move on the bill, he says.
It looks like the pro-cannabis reform legislators still have work to reach a measure of consensus regarding which reform issues need to be tackled first by the Democrats who now control both Congress and Senate.
Meanwhile, Canada legalized the cannabis industry years back, and sector players are enjoying the benefits of that legalization. Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF), for example, has distinguished itself as the undisputed leader in the extracts segment, which is worth $2.7 billion every year in Canada.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PULL
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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