Congress Democrats are already proceeding with plans to consider major changes in federal marijuana laws in 2019. While the Republican controlled house in recent years had blocked votes on most cannabis-related measures, the Chamber's new democratic majority on Wednesday announced that has planned a hearing next week to investigate the difficulties that marijuana companies face in opening and maintaining bank accounts.
With the title "Challenges and Solutions: Accessing Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses", the hearing will take place on February 13 before a sub-committee of the House Financial Services Committee.
Although a growing number of states are moving to legalize marijuana for medical or leisure use, cannabis remains banned. As a result, and despite a 201
"When we introduced this bill six years ago, we announced that the cash-handling businesses were threatening public security. No hearing was given," says Rector Denny Heck (D-WA) in an email referring to marijuana bank law he and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) have filed for the last several congresses.
He regretted that Republican leadership did not plan a hearing on the proposal even after a security guard on a Colorado dispenser was killed during a robbery.
"Chairwoman Waters has made it one of her first priorities to tackle this urgent and delayed problem, demonstrating that she understands the threat to public security and the need for Congress to act," Heck said of the committee's new leader. We have a duplex proposal to allow well-regulated marijuana companies to manage their money in a way that is safe and effective for law enforcement to track. I am eager to come to the work of refining it and transferring it to law. "
That a hearing on the case was in the works was first listed earlier this week by Politico, and Marijuana Moment reported that the entire committee is also actively planning to vote for a marijuana bank account in the coming months.
The Newly Planned Marijuana The hearing is a signal that the Democrats intend to move cannabis legislation this year, and is probably the first in a number of committee level actions across the house on the issue.
"The upcoming hearing provides a real opportunity for the Democratic Party to assert its leadership by finally starting the conversation on how to end the failed marijuana criminalization policy, "NORML political director Justin Strekal said.
While two limited medical cannabis research bills were able to leave house committees last year, they never did Meanwhile, Republican leaders consistently prevented members from offering marijuana-related Changes, including those related to banking problems, to larger laws.
In contrast, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) made a note to party leaders last year last year that you pursue a step-by-step approach to the legalization of marijuana in 2019. His plan recommends that Financial Services and other committees first begin consultations on incremental reforms such as banking access, research expansion and medical cannabis to military veterans before transferring bills on these issues as part of a management that ultimately approves broader legislation to formally terminate federal marijuana bans by the end of the year.
A house bill to protect the banks from being punished for working with state legal marijuana businesses such as Heck and Perlmutter introduced 95 cosponsors in the last congress, and 20 senators signed on a companion, but no hearings were given either. or brought you for votes.
"Deprived of state legal cannabis business of basic banking and forcing them to operate entirely in cash, pose a significant security risk not only to those companies and their employees but to the public," Don Murphy, director of federal Marijuana Policy Guidelines Project, said in an email. "Support for tackling the cannabis bank problem is strong and duplex, and it seems that Congress is ready to adopt a genuine, consensual solution. Members who are concerned with public security should jump to the chance to express their support for this legislation. "
Congress has only held a handful of hearings on problems in marijuana reforms in recent years, and never before has there ever been a widespread law of cannabis reform seemed to be conceivable on the way to the passage.
"This hearing is historic for speakers, business owners and the banking sector and can directly lead to the first in what is hopefully a number of positive changes in the 2019 legislative cycle," said Morgan Fox, media relations director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. emailing. "Allowing banks to work with cannabis business will benefit public security, increase transparency, provide more finance opportunities for small businesses, and communities that are banned, and help businesses thrive so they can move it Illegal Market. " In addition to the two committee's summary of last year's cannabis research legislation, which was not conducted by formal hearings on the current issues, the Senate panels have on occasion had long discussions on marijuana.
In 2013, for example, the Senate The Judiciary Committee convened a hearing to dig into the fact that a growing number of states is was the legalization of marijuana as opposed to federal law.
The Caucus Senate at International Narcotics Control, which is not a formal standing committee in the body, arranged a discussion on federal marijuana enforcement in 2016. The two cochairs, Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have long been a mong congress's most vocal opponent of cannabis reform, although Feinstein began shifting his position last year.
Also in 2016, the Senate Judicial Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing on the risks and potential benefits of medical cannabis, but it did not vote for any marijuana laws.
At the same time, the pressure to cope with cannabis banking has grown. Several government employees in the Trump administration have suggested that they support clarifying the issue.
Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, for example, testified in a testimony before a house committee early last year that he supports letting marijuana companies store profits in banks.
I assure you that we don't want bags of money, "he said." We want to find a solution to ensure that businesses that have large access to cash have the opportunity to get them to a custodian to be confident. "
In a separate hearing, Mnuchin stated that solving the problem is at the top of his list of concerns.
The Federal Reserve mayor Jerome Powell said that the growing gap between state and federal marijuana laws" puts federally chartered banks in a very difficult situation … It would be good if it could be clarified. "
And last month, the meeting called the currency Joseph Otting Congress to" act at the national level to legalize marijuana if they want the entities involved in that business to exploit the US banking system. "
Self If many large financial institutions stay away from the cannabis industry, federal data shows that an increasing number of banks are starting to work with marijuana growers, sellers, processors, and related businesses.
It is not yet announced who will witness next week's cannabis bank consultation before Consumer Protection and
This piece was first published by Forbes.