On Wednesday, GOP representatives in the House extinguished yet another amendment that could have granted cannabis-related businesses access to the federal banking system.
Also referred to as the “Safe Act of 2017,” the discarded amendment to HR 4293 would have allowed America’s financial institutions to finally provide service for one of the country’s fastest-growing and lucrative industries – MARIJUANA.
Proposed as an amendment to the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review Process (H.R. 4293), the “Safe Act” was ultimately blocked when Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) played politics … rather than protecting their constituents.
A $7-billion industry in 2016, today’s marijuana businesses need a place to deposit their hard-earned cash. But granting the rapidly growing industry access to America’s federally insured banks isn’t just an economic issue. According to Congressman Perlmutter, his proposed measure was all about public safety.
This week, I tried yet again to offer a solution to the marijuana banking crisis. Unfortunately, my amendment was not included in the final bill. This is an issue of public safety and I will continue to press the issue at every opportunity.https://t.co/0xUJB1srDy
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) November 18, 2017
And like gun control, the GOP appears to want nothing to do with it.
Rep. Perlmutter cited the case of the Iraqi War veteran who was killed while working as a security guard at a cash-rich medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado. The Colorado congressman noted: “This is a real issue that this committee must deal with and confront.”
Rep. Luetkemeyer “reserved a point of order” on Perlmutter’s proposed amendment and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the committee’s chairman agreed with Luetkemeyer’s objection.
Legally available in more than half the United States, marijuana and its beneficial compounds are still considered a federally prohibited substance due to an antiquated classification within the Controlled Substance Act.
Seeking “Safe Harbor” for marijuana-related businesses and their “Depository Institutions,” the Perlmutter amendment sought to modify the existing rules and regulations governing America’s federally insured banks.
Congressman Perlmutter explained to the House Financial Services Committee, “We cannot hide our head in the sand anymore, we must deal with this and bring some regulatory relief and regulatory certainty to the banking and financial laws to allow legitimate businesses to have legitimate financial services.”
The now-defunct amendment is the second legislative effort in as many years to be shot down in political flames.