Although the timetable has slipped, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that marijuana banking legislation remains a priority for enactment next year.
But in an end-of-year speech on the Senate floor, Schumer delivered a stern warning about the political climate on Capitol Hill. “Without bipartisanship, we will not get anything done,” he said. Schumer went on to blame the Republican-controlled House for blocking major legislation.
The Senate Banking Committee approved S. 2860 in September. The bill would provide credit unions and banks with a regulatory safe harbor if they provided financial services to marijuana-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal. Without the bill, since marijuana is illegal on the federal level, credit unions and banks can face regulatory sanctions for providing services to marijuana-related businesses.
Credit union and banking trade groups have supported the marijuana banking legislation for several years, but many conservative groups have charged that the banking bill is the first step toward legalization of marijuana. While the bill had bipartisan support in the committee, there were signs that the bill could have problems when it reaches the Senate floor.
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