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SAFER Banking Act Faces Last-Minute Opposition, Derails FAA Bill Plans

Hopes that the highly anticipated SAFER Banking Act could be attached to a ‘must pass’ bill were scuppered last week amid ‘pushback right at the finish line’.

Last week, reports emerged that SAFER (Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act), which would enable cannabis businesses to access banking and financial services, could be packed with wider legislation likely to be passed.

It was expected that SAFER, alongside new cryptocurrency regulation, would be packaged with the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, which is considered a ‘must pass’ bill.

However, according to a report from MarketWatch over the weekend, this plan has now been scrapped amid pushback from lawmakers.

Bryan Barash, vice president of external affairs at cannabis payments giant Dutchie and member of the US Cannabis Council, told the publication: “We’re disappointed. It got negative pushback right at the finish line.”

He added that he wasn’t aware of widespread opposition to the plan, which has been attempted unsuccessfully on previous occasions, but that it wasn’t clear whether Republic Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell supported it.

The bill, which has repeatedly made progress in the House of Representatives, has failed to make it into law despite a decade of attempts.

Many lawmakers remain hopeful that the bill will soon be passed, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Last month, he told a press conference that his chamber would ‘work very hard’ to get the landmark bill passed before November this year.

Asked whether he believed its passage was possible before November, he said: “We believe very strongly in so many things, and we are going to continue to work on the agenda that we put before us.

“We first have to fund the government—the supplemental is very important. But after that, you will see us turn to many of the bills that we passed: the SAFER Act, safety on the rails, and so many other things.”

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