by Madeline Grant, NCIA’s Government Relations Manager
We’ve seen an extraordinary amount of momentum sweep through Capitol Hill so far this Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 and the Judiciary Committee marked up the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019. On top of these significant policy gains and historic achievements, we’ve seen an increase in cannabis-related bills, committee hearings, amendments, and markups.
With strong Democratic leadership on the House side, the question of legalizing cannabis has even been put on the table. Conversations are happening in hearings and markups that will help educate lawmakers. For example, as cannabis remains a Schedule I substance, significant federal research is still unattainable. These are the important conversations we are having with lawmakers. The SAFE Banking Act passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support, with a vote of 321-103. This bill has been supported by the American Bankers Association, the Governors Association, the National Association of Attorneys General, and the credit unions across the country. The McClintock-Blumenauer-Norton amendment, which would prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state cannabis programs, passed the House with a vote of 267-165. This historic vote shows just how far we have come and with continued momentum where we can go.
Now, we need your help. It is more important than ever that Congress hears from their constituents. Your stories and experiences are what resonates the most with Hill offices. Now that the SAFE Banking Act passed the house, we need to turn our attention to the Senate.
Please call your U.S. Senators and urge them to support S.1200, the SAFE Banking Act, which prevents federal banking regulators from punishing banks for working with cannabis-related businesses that are obeying state laws or halting their services, taking action on loans made to those businesses, or limiting depository institution’s access to the Deposit Insurance Fund. As you call your Senators, be sure to explain the frustration you have had with a lack of access to banking. Personal stories resonate with our Congressional offices, so take a few minutes to make these important calls.
To find your Senators, click this link and simply enter your address. The office phone number will pop up next to their photos.
Please join us May 19-21, 2020 for our 10th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days in Washington, D.C. Not only will you meet with congressional offices to discuss priority cannabis legislation, but you’ll get to know other NCIA members from around the country. For more information about Lobby Days, contact Maddy Grant and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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