The SAFE Banking Act May Become Law Under New Defense Bill
In a recent update, an amendment in regards to cannabis banking will be voted on by the U.S House of Representatives. This measure would allow for banks to work marijuana business without fear of federal regulators. The National Defense Authorization Act received an order for the amendment from The House Rules Committee. This was done for the fiscal year 2022, giving passage for floor consideration. Which is anticipated to happen in the near future. Yet Advocates are a bit discouraged, that other cannabis and psychedelics reform proposals were rejected by the panel.
One particular measure that failed to pass would have called for investigative studies on the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics. For instance psychedelics like MDMA or psilocybin would be used for active-duty military members. Another measure would have helped ceratin veterans. The proposal would have required that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs couldn’t deny home loan benefits. Specifically to veterans that work in the cannabis industry.
Not long ago, Rep. Lou Correa had filed a separate measure to compel the VA to administer a clinical study into the therapeutic advantages of marijuana. Particularly for veterans with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the congressman withdrew it from consideration before an initial committee meeting pertaining to the defense bill.
Here’s An Overview Of The Cannabis Banking Measure
A panel of bipartisan cosponsors along Rep. Ed Perlmutter have victoriously battled to get a floor vote on amending the language to NDAA. This is being done to stop financial regulators from punishing financial institutions that work with state-legal marijuana businesses. The congressman is the sponsor of the standalone Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act. Which has passed the House in other ways four times to be exact. That bill is the same as the new amendment.
Now the bill is not attached directly to the defense-related concerns. So it’s possible Perlmutter recognizes the must-pass NDAA as a likely vehicle for the reform. Mainly with legislation like this that could make its way through the Senate. Whereas all previous House-passed cannabis banking bills have just been halted
Adam Smith who is the House Armed Services Committee Chairman will be leading the NDAA bill. During Monday’s rules meeting, he recognized that members might find some amendments “superfluous” to defense spending matters. The yearly legislation has been run as a vehicle to forward non-germane bills in the past. He also spoke on, doing so has historically required the problems at hand to have heavy bipartisan support. Specifically to survive the House-Senate conference committee process.
He didn’t explicitly mention the cannabis banking measure. Still, Perlmutter himself previously stated in the hearing that “whether something is superfluous is always in the eyes of the beholder,”. This indicated that he believes his measure’s germaneness in this context calls for interpretation.
Smith said that “whatever superfluous items the Rules Committee decides to put in order and get attached to this bill, we go to the conference, and in the conference, we work in a bipartisan fashion.”
More On The SAFE Banking Act In 2021
“We’re not going to pull one over on anybody here. We’re going to have to work with committees of jurisdiction—not just the chairs, but the ranking members as well—to come to some agreement on those before we go forward,” he said. “So if you see an item that you consider to be superfluous being added to the bill, don’t freak out.”
Questions were raised when the Chairmen words about asking for assistance from heads of committees of jurisdictions. The concern is about if the change to the bill has a chance in a conference with the Senate. But first, it needs to be passed by the House. House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry cast his vote the other way. He stands in opposition to the SAFE Banking Act with the same intent as he did went he made the same vote back in 2019. But on the Senate front, even Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has been a little indifferent about passing the reform.
Final Thoughts On Marijuana Banking Being Passed In 2021
On the other side of the coin, House Finance Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is a supporter of the banking reform. Mr. Waters brought it through her panel this past Congress. As well Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey for his part has also spoken in favor of the SAFE Banking Act being passed.
Earlier this week Warren Davidson also voiced his support of adding marijuana banking to the defense bill. He even pushed be people to be aware that there’s a “national security issue” related to illicit drug trafficking. To which he feels that the SAFE Banking Act could help to fix.
Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole concurred. He stated that NDAA “may not be the most elegant vehicle” for cannabis banking reform, but he does think “there’s a security issue here, and I think that’s a very legitimate point [Davidson] made.”