Colorado senators urge passage of marijuana banking via defense bill

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Colorado’s two U.S. senators added their names to a growing list of members of Congress urging legislative leaders not to strip a marijuana banking bill out of an omnibus defense spending package that is likely to be renegotiated in December.

Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both Democrats, wrote in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee that they hope an upcoming conference committee will keep the SAFE Banking Act in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The SAFE Banking Act was amended into the defense spending bill by the House of Representatives in September.

“We are writing to urge the conferees to preserve the House-passed measure in conference and include the SAFE Banking Act in the final version of the NDAA,” Bennet and Hickenlooper wrote.

“Including the SAFE Banking Amendment in the NDAA will align federal and state laws, promote economic growth and public safety, and increase access to the cannabis industry for underrepresented individuals.”

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The letter follows similar pleas from five senators who are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee as well as from 21 U.S. governors.

The fate of the SAFE Banking Act for the current congressional session is likely to be decided next month by a joint House and Senate conference committee as it reconciles differences between the two chambers’ versions of the NDAA.