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‘fifth time is the charm’ for SAFE banking?

The US House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act for the fifth time this week, this time attached to defense spending legislation that some key players say could mean it actually makes it through the Senate this time.

Try, try again

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the lead sponsor of the banking reform legislation, told Marijuana Moment that “the fifth time is the charm” — so long as it stays attached to the National Defense Authorization Act. 

“…I think that it will,” he said. “I mean, the fact that it deals with cartels and national security, on top of the need for the public safety piece of this thing, I think that we’ll be able to convince the conference committee and the conferees generally to keep it in. But we still have work to do.”

The Schumer question

Another potential hurdle? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and their colleagues, who proposed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act earlier this year and who expressed concerns that SAFE could hurt the chances of creating an equitable cannabis industry in the post-prohibiton era. Perlmutter told Marijuana Moment that he has not spoken with Schuer or Booker as of yet.

“I don’t think that a full [legalization] bill has been prepared yet. I don’t know where they are on tracking votes,” he said. “But I do feel pretty strongly that SAFE Banking has substantial support in the Senate, and this gives another chance to have it heard.”

The Biden question

Perlmutter also addressed the Biden administration’s seeming lack of interest or commitment to broad cannabis reform, suggesting SAFE Banking was more to do with improving the safety of current cannabis workers in legal states who have to deal with large amounts of cash.

“The president, I think, because this is really narrowly tailored to get the cash off the streets, to provide a higher level of public safety, I think he’s going to be supportive,” he said. “We’re at 47 states, all the territories and the District of Columbia, have some level of marijuana use now. This is something that cannot be ignored any longer.”

Read more on the SAFE Banking Act from Cannabis Daily:

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