The House Financial Services Committee Passes Important Bill
House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) said in a radio interview on Wednesday that he expects the chamber to vote on legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition within a matter of “weeks.” All of the party’s major 2020 presidential candidates now support outright legalization, as do a majority of its voters, according to polls.
Under the approved bill, federal banking regulators would not be able to punish financial institutions just because they work with marijuana businesses.
The legislation approved by the committee, the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, currently has 152 cosponsors—more than a third of the entire House, which is far more support than any previous standalone cannabis bill has earned.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the SAFE Banking Act’s lead sponsor, put forth an amendment to his own bill, which was adopted via a voice vote. In addition to clarifying the definition of the financial services that are covered by the bill and specifying that its provisions would protect Federal Reserve banks, new additions would require the federal government to study diversity and inclusion in the marijuana industry—a key concern of legalization advocates seeking to undo the damage of the war on drugs, which has been waged in a racially disproportionate manner.
In addition, the amended bill directs that the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study “on the barriers to marketplace entry, including in the licensing process, and the access to financial services for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.”
-Info courtesy of Tom Angell, Marijuana Moment