GOP Lawmakers Want Marijuana Banking Vote Delayed In Congress

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A important congressional committee is scheduled to vote on far-reaching legislation that would expand marijuana businesses’ potential to retailer their earnings in banks on Tuesday.

But important Republican lawmakers on the panel are now asking Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to delay the vote.

“As you know, marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance… The effect that numerous state laws, which have legalized marijuana, have on the federal laws governing the manufacturing, use, and sale of marijuana, like proceeds, raise numerous concerns and issues,” Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) wrote in a letter to Waters on Thursday. “Any adjust to these statutes, or these that effect them, has the prospective to divide the Congress and the nation. We need to make sure that Congress has completed its due diligence, like conducting thorough oversight and evaluation, ahead of moving such legislation.”

The two GOP lawmakers are the ranking minority members on the complete Property Economic Solutions Committee and its Customer Protection and Economic Institutions Subcommittee, respectively.

The legislation in question—the Safe And Fair Enforcement (Protected) Banking Act—was the topic of a lengthy hearing final month touching on the public security and other implications of stopping cannabis enterprises from getting in a position to access banks, which forces numerous to operate on a money-only basis and can make them targets for robberies.

The bill currently has 143 cosponsors—almost a third of the complete House—including 12 Republicans. If enacted, it would protect banks that serve the cannabis business from getting penalized by federal regulators below funds laundering and drug laws.

It would also clarify that “proceeds from a transaction performed by a cannabis-connected genuine organization shall not be regarded as proceeds from an unlawful activity solely since the transaction was performed by a cannabis-connected genuine organization.”

It appears unlikely the new Democratic majority will acquiesce to the GOP request on an situation numerous members of their party have identified as among the priorities to address in the 116th Congress.

“The hearing is not getting delayed,” a spokesperson for Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the legislation’s chief sponsor, wrote in an e mail.

The Republican letter, which was initially reported by Politico, requests a delay “till the Committee has a improved understanding of the complete variety of consequences that enacting such legislation may well trigger” and lists out 15 “unanswered concerns” they have about the proposal.

Amongst other issues, McHenry and Luetkemeyer want clarity on how the bill would influence federal agencies’ enforcement of other laws, like the Bank Secrecy Act as nicely as Know Your Consumer guidelines, anti-funds laundering regulations and Currency Transaction Report and Suspicious Activity Report filing needs.

They want assurances that “there are no unintended consequences, such as cartels and other poor actors gaining access to our monetary technique” and they want to improved recognize the legislation’s implications for payment processors, insurers, investment corporations and law enforcement agencies.

They also have concerns on how altering banking guidelines for marijuana businesses could impact “other merchandise and solutions presented by monetary institutions, like but not restricted to mortgage merchandise, deposit advance merchandise or basic industrial lending.”

“How are proceeds from state licensed growers and distributers taxed below federal law?” they ask. “Relatedly, what conforming adjustments to our tax code are important?”

McHenry and Luetkemeyer mentioned that the February hearing on cannabis banking concerns “produced clear that we will need to improved comprehend and address the supervisory and regulatory concerns that would outcome from enactment” of the bill ahead of a vote is held.

In 2014, the complete Property adopted an amendment to avert the Division of Treasury from punishing banks that perform with cannabis enterprises. Despite the fact that the measure was authorized by a floor vote of 231 to 192—at a time when far fewer states had laws permitting legal marijuana than is presently the case—it received no action in the Senate and was not enacted into law.

Companion marijuana banking legislation has not however been filed in the Senate for the existing Congress, even though it is anticipated quickly. A bill in that chamber garnered 20 cosponsors during the 115th Congress.



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