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Treasury Secretary Biden says Congress’ inaction on banking marijuana is ‘deeply disappointing’

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The Biden administration’s Treasury Secretary said he was “deeply disappointed” that Congress has not yet enacted legislation to reform the marijuana banking system, adding that the department is “supportive” of the bipartisan Safe Banking and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act.

Ed Perlmutter (D-Co), the sponsor of this bill, raised the issue with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Effects Rise in violent crimes targeting the cannabis trade And workers in legal states asked for “its opinion on the matter.”

Yellen did not smear words.

“we’ve got I talked about it for a very long timeand I agree with you: It’s an important problem—and it’s a very frustrating one that we haven’t been able to solve,” He saidAdding that she appreciates the Congressman’s leadership in this matter.

“We worked with you on this law,” the minister said. “We support her.”

“You know, there is a conflict between state law and national law. Banks are caught in the middle of that. And I think some legislative solutions are needed to move this forward.” “I share your frustration that we haven’t been able to make progress. I think it really does require action from Congress.”

His Safe Banking Act The House of Representatives passed six times in a waybut it is constantly stalled in the Senate under the control of both Democrats and Republicans.

While the bill would help solve some of the financial challenges state legal cannabis companies face under the federal ban, Perlmutter and state officials have Emphasize that this is a public safety issue Which requires urgent action, especially amid the recent upsurge in crime targeting cash-intensive businesses.

The congressman asked Yellen to “convince the administration of the need” to pass the reform legislation either as part of the America Computing Act — large-scale manufacturing and innovation legislation to which it has appended in the House and now awaits consideration by a bicameral conference committee — or as a separate bill” So no one else dies because there’s too much money” in the state’s markets.

“We’d like to see that happen,” Yellen replied.

Washington State Treasury Secretary Mike Peliciotti (D) has been particularly vocal about the need for Congressional reform, which is He wrote in a recent letter to his colleagues It is “not safe to have that much cash.”

Pellicciotti made similar statements in A Recent Conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NAST). Colorado Treasurer Dave Young He echoed this sentiment in a recent interview With a marijuana moment.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Senate Committee He passed a bipartisan bill late last month To protect banks and insurers from being penalized by government regulators for working with state-legal medical marijuana companies as Congressional reform continues to stall.

For his part, Perlmutter reiterated his commitment to get something done before retiring at the end of this session. He made a point to talk about the enactment of the reform law During committee hearings on ostensibly unrelated or broader legislationas in a recent hearing of the House Rules Committee.

At an event recently hosted by the American Bankers Association (ABA), the congressman said he would “Continue to be a real scourge, and persevere in doing so” before leaving Congress.

After the House passed the banking bill, Perlmutter said he naively expected it to “sail through the Senate, which is always a bad assumption, because nothing goes through the Senate.”

But he has gone to great lengths to build support, including from the current leadership in the Senate who has insisted on enacting blanket legalization with strict stock provisions before introducing a bill seen as friendly to the industry.

Although recently Saying he was “confident” that the Senate would consider his bill In this session, the congressman realized that while he supports reviews on criminal justice reform, taxation, research, and other issues, he knows that “as we expand this thing, we start losing votes, especially Republican votes and we’ve got enough votes in the Senate to do that.” “As is.

Ahead of last month’s ABA event, the financial group released a commissioned survey showing that the vast majority of Americans Support liberalizing banks to work with marijuana companies without facing federal sanctions.

Meanwhile, how many banks report doing business with marijuana companies It was uploaded again towards the end of 2021according to recently released federal data.

It’s not clear if the increase is related to Congress’ moves to pass a bipartisan cannabis banking reform bill, but numbers from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) suggest that financial institutions still feel more comfortable serving companies in the state’s legal markets.

Some Republicans are scratching their heads over the Democrats’ failure so far to pass modest banking reform with majorities in both houses and control of the White House as well. For example, Representative Rand Paul (Republic of Kentucky) He criticized fellow Democrats on the issue in December.

Meanwhile, federal financial regulator Rodney Hood — a board member and former president of the Federal Administration for the National Credit Union (NCUA) — recently said that legalizing marijuana is not a question of “if” but “when,” and he’s again advising on How to navigate the struggle of the federal state This has left many banks reluctant to work with cannabis companies.

The DEA says marijuana seeds are legal cannabis as long as they don’t exceed the THC limit.

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