Cannabis banking reform excluded from $900 billion coronavirus relief package

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Cannabis banking reform will have to wait.

Such reform isn’t included in the 5,593-page, $900 billion coronavirus relief bill being considered Monday in the U.S. Congress, even though it was part of the initial U.S. House relief measure.

But there is still hope cannabis banking reform will be included if there’s a push for additional COVID-19 stimulus after President-elect Joe Biden assumes office in January, said David Mangone, director of policy for The Liaison Group, a Washington DC firm that lobbies for the National Cannabis Roundtable.

Cannabis banking reform would allow financial institutions to provide traditional banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal punishment.

The prospects of such reform – which was soundly passed by the U.S. House last year in the form of the SAFE Banking Act – also could brighten in the next administration under a new Senate banking chair.

That, of course, depends on whether Republicans maintain control of the Senate.

If Democrats were to win the two Georgia runoff seats in January, then cannabis banking reform would be more likely.

In the meantime, the coronavirus relief bill that could be passed Monday includes provisions that likely would help cannabis sales. Those include:

  • A $300-a-week jobless benefit supplement through mid-March.
  • $600 stimulus checks to Americans who earned less than $75,000 in the preceding tax year. Families also would receive a $600 for each child.

– Jeff Smith