Rep. Perlmutter Optimistic On Cannabis SAFE Banking Act, Warns Time Is Of The Essence

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), believes that Congress will pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, citing signs that the Senate could finally move during the lame-duck session. Though he admits he’s been disappointed before.

On Tuesday, the House sponsor of the cannabis banking measure told Yahoo YHOO Finance that he’s an eternal optimist but also a realist who recognizes that “time is short” to get something done.

“The optimist says, ‘we’re gonna get it done.’ There are several ways we can do it,” said Perlmutter, who noted that the banking reform could be enacted through a larger vehicle like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or omnibus appropriations legislation, or as a standalone.

“I think given the activity in the Senate that we’ve seen over the course of the last month—both out of the Banking Committee, as well as out of [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s] office, I think something is going to happen, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that it does, at least on the House side,” Perlmutter said.

In late July, Senators Schumer,  Cory Booker and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a long-awaited marijuana bill that would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis on the federal level, while promoting social equity.

SAFE Plus Package

Perlmutter affirmed that there are other components that some senators have expressed interest in adding to the SAFE Plus package, including promoting marijuana research and “maybe a pilot program dealing with PTSD” within the VA.

“There’s a way to fashion this that I think keeps Republicans in the Senate—we need 10 at least, I think, to pass it out of the Senate with the Democrats—and move it back to the House, where I know we could pass it and send it on to President Biden,” said the congressman, adding that time is running thin before Republicans will have a majority in the House.

The ‘SAFE Banking Plus’ Act is an updated version of a bill that would harmonize state federal and state law by protecting financial institutions that provide banking services to cannabis-related ventures and ancillary businesses.

“It’s not just a jingle. It’s not a pipe dream. It’s something that’s ongoing. There are discussions at high levels in the Senate between co-sponsors of the SAFE Banking bill on the Republican side with Senate leadership,” according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic.

The SAFE Banking Act has passed in the House seven times in the last three years, and now, the Senate is feeling pressure to approve it.

Get your daily dose of cannabis news on Benzinga Cannabis. Don’t miss out on any important developments in the industry.

Photo: Courtesy Of Elijah Mears On Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralEd PerlmutterSAFE Banking ActYahoo
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