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US: Senators celebrate reintroduction of bipartisan cannabis banking bill

Senators are urging action on a cannabis banking bill that was reintroduced last week, taking to Twitter to call for bipartisan work to enact the reform this session. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was filed with much fanfare, earning the early applause of top legislators like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). In the days since its introduction, more than a dozen senators have cheered the bill’s introduction with tweets.

While bipartisan lawmakers have filed a series of modest cannabis measures in recent weeks, advocates and industry stakeholders are especially focused on SAFE, which has been revised in several ways that equity activists say they’re encouraged by but hope to build upon as the legislation advances. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT)—along with Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)—are sponsoring the legislation.

The expectation is that it will first go to the Senate Banking Committee as a standalone proposal before potentially moving to the floor. But the chairman of that panel, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), recently said that the process has been delayed because of his concerns with banking sector representatives allegedly trying to use the bill to undermine broader regulations.

In any case, lawmakers across the aisle have expressed excitement about the prospects of finally enacting the legislation, which has cleared the House several times in recent sessions only to stall in the Senate.


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