Federal Marijuana Banking Act Gains Two New Sponsors in US House, Now Has 122

Bipartisan legislation to allow marijuana banking nationwide gained two new sponsors yesterday, bringing the total to 122.

Yesterday Congressmembers Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) joined as official cosponsors to the SAFE Banking Act. The measure now has 122 total sponsors, well more than any previous marijuana-related bill.

The SAFE Banking Act and the Senate’s SAFER Banking Act, which has 36 sponsors, would offer federal protections for banks and credit unions that choose to provide financial services to marijuana businesses legal under their state‚Äôs law. Additionally, the legislation would allow state-legal marijuana businesses to take standard IRS tax deductions, which is currently forbidden.

In September, the SAFER Banking Act was approved by the Senate Banking Committee, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promising to put the measure to a vote of the full chamber in the “weeks and months ahead”.

Recent polling shows that 63% of U.S. adults favoring Congressional action to allow cannabis businesses access to essential financial services in states where cannabis is legally recognized, compared to 17% opposed.

On May 21, the DEA officially published in the Federal Register its proposed rules that would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. Although some argue this would allow banks to provide services to medical marijuana dispensaries, it is not expected to have any impact on the recreational marijuana industry, as would be the case with the SAFE and SAFER Banking Acts.

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