Mitch McConnel, Senate Majority Leader, is happy that the new COVID reprieve bill that was passed by Congress last week lacks a provision that protects financing institutions servicing state-legal cannabis businesses from penalties issued by state regulators.
Some industry participants have asserted that the marijuana banking reform is likely to advance irrespective of which party has control over the Senate in 2021. However, McConnell’s recent press statement offers a different signal. He’s negative to the policy change and his position will ultimately determine if the reform is brought to the floor in case Republicans win in at least one of Georgia’s runoffs.
In the new revised coronavirus measure, Mitch’s office highlighted several provisions featured in the preceding Democratic House reforms that the GOP rejected and were not included in the final deal.
The revised measure reads that from May up to December, Democrats helped bipartisan coronavirus relief for unassociated partisan regulations such as state election mandates, marijuana studies and tax cuts for affluent residents of large spending states.
This an inference to a section of SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement) Banking ACT, which would call for reports on accessibility to funding services for women-owned and minority-owned legit businesses. McConnell hasn’t augured well with that particular component; however, he has also widely criticized the inclusion of cannabis-focused financial service in the COVID19 relief.
The recent release states that speaker Pelosi’s partisan reform included policies ensuring marijuana enterprises can liaise their operations with state-backed insurers and banks. It also comprises a chart supporting the narrative that cannabis provisions were not featured in the final bicameral consensus.
The House has approved the cannabis banking bill three times within the past year, first as an independent reform and twice as a component of the coronavirus relief legislation. Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, also submitted his COVID-19 reform during September which contained cannabis banking language. Unfortunately, it didn’t advance.