Jordan Brown, age 29, was shot and killed on March 19, 2022, during an armed robbery while he worked his shift as a budtender in Tacoma, Washington. He was an employee at a company called World of Weed. Joshua Chase, the proprietor of Oakland-based Oakanna, took a shot in his foot on April 24. Brian Garcia was also fatally shot by armed robbers in Los Angelese nearly a fortnight ago.
These and other such incidents have captured the attention of the media and drawn the eyes of the country to the pressing need to allow marijuana companies to gain access to banking services so that the huge amounts of cash attracting criminals are absorbed into the banking system. State officials and industry advocates are also raising their voices and calling out Congress for remaining inactive as criminal activity targeting state-legal cannabis companies escalates.
On a positive note, the crime wave may inadvertently tip the scale in favor of passing cannabis banking reforms, something that has been hitting a dead end each time efforts are made to push the SAFE Banking Act through the Senate. For example, many top legislators are voicing their support for the inclusion of cannabis banking language in a comprehensive bill aimed at boosting American competitiveness against China. Bicameral discussions are underway, and this bill is expected to be ready for the president’s desk by August.
It is making a difference. Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, didn’t initially support the banking bill. However, the passing of legislation creating a regulated marijuana market in his home state has made him start supporting the law because residents of Montana have legalized marijuana.
Another example of changing alliances is Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon. He is one of the cosponsors of the banking bill, and the recent robberies have impressed upon him the urgency of passing this law by whatever means possible.
However, the road to federal marijuana banking reform may not be an easy one given that many key Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are opposed to enacting banking reforms without including social equity or criminal justice reforms. The twist is that if attempts to add those provisions are made, many Republicans who have expressed support for the bill may switch allegiance and withdraw their support.
It remains to be seen how the conferees will walk the tightrope and come up with a comprehensive manufacturing bill that finally wins the support of enough Republican and Democrat senators to see it through. The eyes of the cannabis industry, including companies such as American Cannabis Partners, are on the bicameral conference talks to see what consensus can be reached on this important matter of marijuana banking.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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