Cannabis Regulatory Update: Senators Reintroduce SAFE Act, Maryland Cannabis Bill Fails, Michigan Sales Soar

Senators Reintroduce SAFE Banking Act

While last week, the SAFE Banking Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, while a parallel bipartisan measure was also represented, reports Marijuana Business Daily.

Sens. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, and Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, together with 27 co-sponsors reintroduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in the Senate.

If the bill passes it would enable cannabis businesses to obtain banking services, and provide protection to all financial institutions that cooperate with legal cannabis companies.

With cannabis being considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance on the federal level, cannabis enterprises had difficulties accessing banking-related services, having to work with large sums of cash.

The Act already passed the House with 321 to 103 votes back in 2019, but was rejected at the Senate.

 “With new Senate leadership now firmly in favor of cannabis policy reform, we are optimistic that this narrowly tailored – but absolutely necessary – legislation will be allowed to progress through the hearing process,” Aaron Smith, CEO of the National Cannabis Industry Association stated.

Maryland Adult-Use Legalization Bill Fails

The state of Maryland is not going to be the next one to join the growing number of states with legalized recreational cannabis markets.

Since it has failed to meet the deadline for passing one legislative chamber this Monday, it will now have to wait at least one year to try again, writes Marijuana Business Daily.  

“Sponsors (now) are working on amendments to set the stage for legalization in ’22,” Karen O’Keefe, Marijuana Policy Project’s director of state policies, told the outlet.

At the same time, Maryland’s medical marijuana market has been soaring, with sales almost hitting $500 million annually.

Recently, both Wyoming and Hawaii experienced something similar as their bills to end marijuana prohibition also failed, reported Marijuana Moment.

Michigan Cannabis Sales Pop 160% In February

Cannabis sales in the Great Lake State reached $105 million in February, jumping 160% from the same period in 2020.

According to data from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, medical sales advanced 48% from the prior year hitting $38.1 million, while adult-use sales have seen a skyrocketing jump of 353% reaching $67.1 million.

As supply grew, flower prices dropped. In February, they fell by 46% from a year ago, amounting to an average of $4275 per pound.

Last year, Michigan yielded a total of $985 million in cannabis sales.

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