The hearing permitted John to straight address essential senators as they take into account the Protected Banking Act, the Senate companion bill to legislation that passed out of committee in the Residence this spring. The committee also heard testimony from sponsors of the bill — Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) — as properly as Maps Credit Union Chief Threat Officer Rachel Pross, Citywide Banks President and CEO Joanne Sherwood, and Sensible Approaches to Marijuana Vice President of Government Affairs Garth Van Meter.
Under you will obtain my fast takeaways from yesterday’s hearing, as properly as added sources for any person who would like to take a closer appear.
1. Lawmakers and witnesses agreed the difficulties about cannabis banking are not going away. Conversations focused on the security hazards designed by money-only organizations, the hurdles to state-legal cannabis banking, and the have to have to pass the Protected Banking Act.
two. The only witness opposed to the Protected Banking Act did not seem to convince policymakers. Mr. Van Meter argued that Congress really should not pursue a banking repair without the need of very first dealing with security research and other difficulties, but lawmakers’ concerns refocused the group on the banking challenge.
three. Lawmakers and witnesses had been supportive of federal regulations connected to cannabis. Ms. Pross and Ms. Sherwood emphasized the have to have for regulators to expand upon the 2014 FinCEN guidance, in order to present higher clarity to economic institutions. This could take place just before or soon after passage of the Protected Banking Act. Below questioning from the committee, John voiced his help for added federal regulation of the cannabis market and mentioned he looked forward to becoming component of the program as regulations evolve. He explained why it is so crucial for cannabis organizations to have access to the regulated banking program, and he noted that cannabis’s illegal status and the lack of a regulatory framework on the federal level have blocked successful analysis.
four. This hearing was only the very first step, albeit an crucial a single. The consensus amongst committee members about the have to have to resolve the cannabis banking crisis — such as Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID), who has not been forward-leaning in his help for cannabis reform in the previous — marks a turning point in the conversation. Even though this opens the Senate for action about the Protected Banking Act, it may well not necessarily herald quick action on the legislation. CTF is committed to continuing to advocate for the Protected Banking Act and other good reforms to federal cannabis laws.