Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer Feels SAFE Banking Act is Not Enough
With cannabis reform sweeping across the country, measures life the SAFE Banking Act are welcome by many financial institutions and members of the cannabis industry.
This will certainly open up a world of opportunity, safety and convenience to beleaguered dispensaries everywhere. However, top Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer feels that the SAFE Banking Act is insufficient and potentially detrimental to legalization. According to Marijuana Moment, Schumer is not alone.
Several prominent groups outside the financial industry are also concerned that the SAFE Banking Act could have accidental consequences that would hurt the legalization cause, not help it.
If Schumer and his supporters are right, the SAFE Banking Act might need to be shelved for the time being.
Good Bill, Poor Timing
Schumer does not necessarily oppose the SAFE Banking Act. In fact, he was not quite clear about whether the vote should be delayed. He simply feels more needs to be done. Schumer said in a tweet:
“Congress should not enact banking reform alone and think the job is done. We need decriminalization at the federal level, criminal justice reform, and investment in opportunity for minority & women-owned small businesses.”
Like the SAFE Banking Act, its opposition has quite an arsenal behind it. The Drug Policy Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch are just a few groups who want House leaders to delay the vote until broader reforms are passed.
One concern among marijuana advocates is that the SAFE Banking Act only helps financial institutions and dispensaries when the War on Drugs’ impact was much broader.
According to Marijuana Moment:
“The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights…thanked Schumer for his comment, stating that ‘Congress needs to address marijuana prohibition holistically and inclusively by considering’ broader reform legislation.”
However, part of the blame for this situation lies with the democrats:
“Rep. Maxine Waters (R-CA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, told Marijuana Moment that while she recognizes concerns outlined by advocacy groups calling for a delay on a marijuana banking vote, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has yet to advance his wider-ranging legalization bill, tying the hands of House Democrats.”
Even if they wanted to address marijuana reform from a broader perspective, Democrats are yet to put forth legislation intending to do so. This leaves the SAFE Banking Act standing on its own.
Still, Waters is optimistic. She tells Marijuana Moment that the SAFE Banking Act will likely pass and any upcoming broader reforms will pass with equal enthusiasm.
Not Likely to Change
One thing for certain is that the SAFE Banking Act is unlikely to be set aside. With 209 supporters already behind the bill, chances are good that it can gain the 290 votes needed to pass.
Amendments have already been made to make the legislation more palatable to Republicans in an effort to gain even more bipartisan support.
WeedAdvisor Looks Forward to Banking Reform
While we are happy to see marijuana reform taken so seriously, the passage of the SAFE Banking Act will likely occur on its own. This may not appease certain groups, but it is definitely good from a business perspective.
Once dispensaries have access to key financial services, we look forward to offering our array of business solutions to aid with POS, reward programs, inventory tracking, compliance and more.