Marijuana Banking Reform On Hold As House Lawmakers Disagree On Defense Bill Inclusion Option

House lawmakers delayed coming to a long-awaited decision on whether to consider a series of cannabis reforms as part of a large-scale defense bill, citing disagreements over several key unresolved issues, reported Marijuana Moment. Meanwhile, the offices of several Republican senators met with the Department of Justice to discuss their concerns with pending cannabis banking reforms.

What Happened 

The hope was that the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2021 (SAFE Banking Act), expungements and other reform legislation would pass as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) during this lame-duck session and ultimately end up on President Biden's desk. But it seems hurdles still remain.

House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said the “package is not ready yet,” and that the “committee remains ready to take it up as soon as the text is finalized,” though he didn’t provide details about the outstanding issues.  

"It’s possible that the NDAA text could be finalized and taken up by the end of the day before the Rules panel adjourns, but it could also be the case that members reschedule consideration of the bill for a later date," speculated Marijuana Moment's Kyle Jaeger.

Details about the SAFE Plus package that lawmakers have been negotiating emerged and include the possible inclusion of language on gun rights for marijuana consumers. Jaeger noted that cannabis reforms could still make it into NDAA before the end of the year.

The Department of Justice issued a memo to congressional leaders regarding the SAFE Banking Act, indicating its concerns about the bill. According to the department, the language in the initial House bill “could significantly complicate law enforcement investigations and prosecutions,” reported Punchbowl News. However, sources told Marijuana Moment the differences have since been resolved. 

Meanwhile, cannabis stocks such as Tilray Brands, Inc TLRY surged 11.79% at one point on Monday and continued momentum after reaching a total of 25% since Nov. 28 then leveled off to $4.68 per share, up 2.18% at the close. 

Other weed stocks rallied then leveled off on the speculation that the banking system might open up to cannabis companies.


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