Author

Bruce J. Linskens

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On September 25, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the “Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019” or the “SAFE Banking Act of 2019” (H.R. 1595) by a vote of 321 to 103. If adopted, the SAFE Banking Act would, among other things, create a safe harbor for depository institutions that provide banking services to state compliant marijuana-related businesses and also remove proceeds from state compliant cannabis transactions from the definition of criminal proceeds under U.S. anti-money laundering laws. …

Backers of a cannabis banking bill are accusing one another of undermining its prospects for success by pushing for amendments that would expand its scope in different directions.  The SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595) would allow financial firms to work with state-licensed cannabis businesses without running afoul of federal anti-money laundering laws.  The bill introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) has attracted 206 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle and advanced out of committee in March.  Senators Jeff Merkley…

On June 20, 2019, the House approved by a vote of 267 to 165 an “Appropriations Minibus” amendment sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) that would prohibit the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) from using appropriated funds to prevent any state, U.S. territories, or Washington, D.C. “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of marijuana.”  This amendment builds on a prior appropriations rider, originally enacted in 2014 and renewed every year thereafter, which prohibits the…

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows, and nowhere is that more true than in the unlikely coalition of lawmakers working to reform the nation’s cannabis laws. In recent years, public support for legalizing cannabis has increased and legislators have begun introducing more bills than ever. While legalization legislation languished during the last Congress as Republican leaders remained steadfast in their opposition to any changes, advocates are optimistic that Democratic control of the House could finally bring significant reform.…