Congress Takes Major Bipartisan Step To Legalize Marijuana Banking

Congress Takes Major Bipartisan Measure To Legalize Marijuana Banking

The U.S. Congress is taking its first major measures to legalizing marijuana.
 
Even though it’s not the outright legalization at the national level and handing power over to the states, it’s a significant step forward.
 
Politico reports in Bankers’ pot push gets boost from blue wave, Sessions ouster a bill clarifying rules regarding the banking industry and the legal marijuana industry is gaining support.
 
As usual, the article features plenty of quotations from politicians on both sides of this issue.
 
We are not going to review those quotes since they’re the standard mix of obvious statements, low on specifics, and, honestly, because the origin of them is politicians.
 
There are two significant changes featured in the report though that are worth noting.
 
First, the marijuana banking bill proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) has 96 public co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
 
Of those co-sponsors, 83 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans.
 
That is bipartisan and represents almost half of the votes needed to pass any bill through the House.
 
Second, the report notes two banking sector associations — the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) — are openly supportive of the bill.
 
That is a massive change.
 
Call it experience or cynicism, but the Seed Investor doesn’t expect any invoice to move successfully through Congress without both popular and financial support.
 
That is why the backing of those groups is crucial.
 
These are institutions with political and financial muscle.               
 
ICBA contributed about $1.6 million to political campaigns in the 2018 election cycle and CUNA spent $3.7 million on lobbying last year according to OpenSecrets.org.
 
Granted, these aren’t huge numbers for governmental and governmental spending.
 
They’re actually dwarfed by the top political donation financial industry which accounted for $752 over 2017 and 2018.
 
And they’re not even close to the agribusiness industry and its $86 million in donations over the last two decades.
 
But they’re something and that’s a big change from years ago when there was a lot more moral support behind even fundamental pro-marijuana legislation than there was any significant financial support.  
 
In the long run, both variables are advantages for the marijuana industry and the bill’s progress is worth watching for marijuana investors.
 
Banking issues are a significant barrier for the industry and any positive changes to laws and rules governing it would add to the marijuana industry tailwinds in 2019.

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Published at Thu, 29 Nov 2018 17:56:57 +0000

Posted in: News

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