In sad yet unsurprising news, the SAFE Banking Act failed to advance in Congress. Despite bipartisan support and numerous claims that it would, indeed, pass, politicians have proven yet again to be untrustworthy opportunists.
What Are SAFE And SAFE Plus?
The SAFE Banking Act was first introduced in 2019 and has been reintroduced as SAFE Plus since then. The proposed legislation would provide protections for financial institutions that work with cannabis companies and make it easier for them to receive funding and insurance coverage.
SAFE Plus is expected to contain cannabis banking protections in addition to other proposals related to expungements and gun rights, among other provisions. It was introduced in order to appeal to democrats like Corey Booker, who wanted more than just banking protections; they also wanted additional provisions related to expungements and gun rights for marijuana consumers (among other things).
The SAFE Banking Act garnered bipartisan support, including 8 GOP cosponsors. The House of Representatives passed the bill seven times, most recently in July but did not receive the minimum support in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not call SAFE Banking to a vote.
The Politics Of Pot
It’s no secret that politicians are liars. When it comes to marijuana reform, though, many of us thought that this particular issue was one in which the Democrats really meant it when they said they were pro-reform.
But after the repeated passage of the SAFE Act in the House and assurance from Senate Democrats (and from Schumer) that SAFE was a priority, we’ve been let down again. The failure to pass SAFE is incredibly disappointing—and it comes after years of work by advocates who have been fighting for this bill since its conception.
The bottom line is that politicians are liars and do whatever they can to secure votes during election season and spend the rest of their elected cycle doing literally nothing except wasting taxpayer money.
Can Legal Cannabis Thrive In America—Or At Least Survive?
The legal cannabis industry in America is struggling to stay afloat.
In legacy states like California and Colorado, oversupply and dropping prices are forcing many businesses to close their doors. Meanwhile, competition in Oregon and Washington has driven tons of small businesses out of the market. These issues have been compounded by confusion and incongruencies in cannabis legislation, which has allowed the illegal market to thrive.
Cannabis businesses are struggling to afford to stay afloat, and instead of protecting a popular industry that has bipartisan and popular support, Congress has chosen to wring their hands and admit defeat.
The failure of the SAFE banking act is a devastating blow to the cannabis industry. Politicians can claim all they want that they support states’ rights, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’ve been dragging their feet and stalling for months on end—and this is a painfully clear indication that they never intended to enact the SAFE banking act in the first place.
The cannabis industry is struggling because politicians don’t want it to succeed. They just want to keep their party in power and are willing to sacrifice real progress in order to do so.
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