Recently, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Credit Union National Association, the American Bankers Association and 11 other organizations sent a letter to Senate leadership urging members to enact cannabis banking reform as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The letter implores members of the Senate to adopt language that protects financial institutions that work with state-legal marijuana businesses in the defense bill. Federal data shows that most financial institutions are hesitant to have marijuana companies as clients, which is most probably because of the plant’s classification in the Controlled Substances Act.
In the new letter, the labor groups and financial associations stated that they had joined together as the current state of affairs was unsustainable for communities, workers, law-abiding financial institutions and ancillary businesses. The organizations added that enacting the SAFE Banking Act would also offer legitimate businesses access to necessary protections and insurance products that are offered to other businesses.
The organizations continued explaining that the banking reform would strengthen national security and support the thousands of veterans who depend on the marijuana industry for employment, medical treatment or business opportunities. In addition to this, the groups noted that workers in marijuana-related businesses were constantly in danger because of the cash intensive transactions they completed every day.
The letter maintained that while the organizations understood that establishing a true federal regulatory framework for marijuana was a lengthy process, they believed that the banking reform was a crucial first step in ensuring that legal marijuana marketplaces were transparent, legal and safe.
Other organizations who signed off on this letter include the National Association of Realtors, the Electronic Transaction Association, the National Bankers Association, the American Land and Title Association, the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
In November, the Credit Union National Association along with other credit union associations sent a similar letter to the Senate committee leadership. Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee also sent a letter to legislators urging them to include the SAFE Banking Act in the final National Defense Authorization Act.
Shortly after this, Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper from Colorado made a similar request in a separate letter to the Senate. Thus far, the House has already adopted language from the SAFE Banking Act in its version of the defense legislation.
However, the measure has stalled in the Senate, with the current Senate Majority Leader suggesting that he’d consider enacting the SAFE Banking Act if it contained provisions on social equity.
Enacting cannabis banking reforms could ease the headaches that the entire industry, including companies such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF), have to deal with on a regular basis.
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