The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives included cannabis banking reform in the $3 Trillion COVID-19 relief bill they passed on Friday.
The bill in its current form, called the HEROES Act, has little chance of passing the Senate. It faces “near unanimous opposition” from Republicans, and a veto threat from President Trump. However, Republicans’ response to the bill suggests they are open to cannabis banking reform.
New York Times
- Last year, the House passed the SAFE Banking Act which would allow federally illegal cannabis businesses to access mainstream financial services but it got hung up in the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Mike Crapo (R-Id.)
- Marijuana Moment did a close reading of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) response to the bill. McConnell mocked the Democrats for wanting to study diversity in who owns cannabis businesses, but didn’t criticize the concept of banking access.
- McConnell and numerous other Republicans seized on the talking point that the bill uses the word “cannabis” more than the word jobs. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others made some very funny and original stoner jokes.
- In the House, Marijuana Moment notes, no Republicans tried to strike the banking language before the vote.
- Republican Senators who support banking access include Rand Paul (Ky.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.), who faces a tough reelection fight against former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) who oversaw Colorado’s legalization rollout.