The year 2020 fell flat for many reasons, and marijuana banking laws did, too. Cannabis banking access was confirmed, ‘Nope!’ in the latest COVID relief package, a $900 billion bill summarized in a tidy 5,593 pages.
The omission means that once again, state-legal cannabis businesses will need to practice patience before they have access to banking services. The provision was part of the initial U.S. House relief measure, and there’s still a flicker of hope that marijuana banking reform will be included in subsequent stimulus relief efforts.
But, alas, those marijuana banking laws will have to wait.
Allowing financial institutions to offer services to state-legal cannabis operators free from fear of federal repercussions would be monumental to the industry. The impact of those changes could still happen, however. There’s a higher likelihood of that happening now the Democrats have taken control of the Senate. The House has passed cannabis banking measures three times in 2020; the first time as a standalone bill and the other two times as part of COVID relief measures.
The latest blow came from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In a recap of the new COVID legislation, McConnell considered including language on the SAFE Banking Act as part of a “multi-trillion-dollar left-wing wish list.”