Cannabis foes crow about MJ banking measure stalling in congressional committee

A pro-cannabis industry banking amendment stalled this week in a House of Representatives committee, and marijuana opponents quickly crowed that “Big Pot” had suffered a defeat.

But the development illustrates the political war for marijuana reform is far from over, despite big industry names throwing serious capital at Washington DC lobbying efforts.

“Allowing banking access to the marijuana industry would have opened up direct access to Wall Street investment into the sales and marketing of pot candies, cookies and ice creams,” industry foe Kevin Sabet, the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in a news release.

Sabet pointed to the cannabis industry lobbying organization, the New Federalism Fund (NFF), as the guiding hand behind the proposed reform.

NFF Chairman Neal Levine responded he was “honored” Sabet would identify his group as the premier MJ industry lobby in Washington DC but said the banking defeat was arguably a minor one compared to the importance of the recently introduced States’ Act by Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts.

“A bipartisan piece of legislation that defers to the states, that is endorsed by the president, is the best chance we’ve ever had to end the federal-state conflict, and we are going to put every resource available behind the States Act to get it done,” Levine said.

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