Schumer: Senate is ‘Very Close to Passing the SAFE Banking Act
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Schumer: Senate is 'Very Close to Passing the SAFE Banking Act

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday that he and his colleagues are “very close” to passing legislation that would authorize financial institutions to provide services to cannabis businesses.Speaking during a debate in his New York senate race, Schumer signaled that the SAFE Banking Act may finally be close to earning full passage.”I am working in a bipartisan way with Democrats and Republicans to take the SAFE Banking Act, which allows financial institutions to involve themselves in cannabis companies and lend money to them–but it also does some things for justice, such as expunging a record,” Schumer said during the debate, as quoted by Seeking Alpha.The SAFE Banking Act was passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in February, marking the sixth time that the body approved the legislation. The legislation was first introduced in 2013. It would be a huge resource for cannabis retailers in states that have legalized adult-use marijuana. Due to the large cash reserves, these shops are more vulnerable to robberies. The Seattle Times reported in March that 70 armed robberies had occurred in Washington in the first three months. This was more than twice the number in 2021 and 2020. These robberies can be prevented. These robberies can be prevented.” Let’s pass the #SAFEBankingAct this #fourtwenty.”Democratic leaders like Schumer have been determined to pass some form of cannabis reform since the party secured control of Congress and the White House in 2020. Schumer spoke confidently about passing a federal law allowing for cannabis to be legalized, even though President Joe Biden expressed doubts about lifting prohibition. “[Biden] stated that he is studying the issue, so [I] clearly want to give him some time to study it. As many other advocates, I will also make my arguments to him. We will move forward at some point, period.” In April, the House passed The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act. This Act would remove cannabis from federal statute Controlled Substances Act. The Senate Democrats said they would produce their own legislation, but it never came. Now, with the midterm elections scheduled for next week and Democrats in danger of losing control of both House and Senate, the prospects for federal legalization are dimming. Biden also indicated that he would pardon anyone convicted of marijuana possession in federal court. Biden also expressed a desire to get cannabis out of the Controlled Substances Act. Federal law currently places marijuana in Schedule I, which is the highest-level classification for most dangerous substances. Biden stated that this schedule is the same as heroin and LSD and is even higher than the Schedule I classification for fentanyl or methamphetamine. “Too many lives were lost because of our failed approach towards marijuana.” “It’s high time we rectify these wrongs.” Seeking Alpha noted that the SAFE Banking Act currently under review “includes both bank reform and the expungement of marijuana convictions.”

 

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