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420 with CNW — Schumer Admits GOP Support Key in Enacting Cannabis Banking Reform

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that enacting the cannabis banking bill is a top priority for this summer, but it won’t be simple without backing from GOP leaders. In a letter sent to his coworkers last week, Schumer made that statement.

The letter specifies that lawmakers will prioritize pushing defense and appropriations measures that must pass before moving on to other matters. To advance the bill in a number of policy areas, Schumer stated that Democrats will also keep working with their Republican counterparts. This includes moving forward on bicameral legislation, such as a bill to protect cannabis banking that was already heard in the Senate Banking Committee in May and that proponents expect will be put to a vote in that body this month.

Schumer has stated numerous times that he believes the SAFE Banking Bill should be changed to include wording on the expungement of earlier cannabis convictions. However, he chose not to reiterate that argument in his recent letter. However, a representative for the primary Republican sponsor of the standalone SAFE Banking Act said recently that he is open to including the additional reform provision, despite having warned Democrats against significantly broadening the bill’s scope in a way that could jeopardize the support of GOP lawmakers.

Insiders claim that the bill, as it stand, has enough support from Republicans to garner the 60 votes necessary for approval in the Senate.

Senate Banking Committee members are still debating Section 10 of the marijuana measure, which has drawn criticism from certain Democrats, including Senator Jack Reed, who claims it would essentially weaken banking laws that do not apply to the cannabis industry.

But, as Schumer pointed out in the letter, Republican support is necessary to see the proposal through to the end. Furthermore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already obstructed incremental reform. Additionally, it’s uncertain when the Senate will be able to finish working on budget legislation and the NDAA, which Schumer argued should come before the other bipartisan initiatives.

Although a committee markup for the SAFE Banking Bill has not yet been set, members from opposing parties are indicating that the votes are present for passage — as long as there are no significant disagreements or roadblocks. Senator Tommy Tuberville declared last month that he would vote in favor of the bill. He merely has his worries about the Democratic leadership’s ability to deliver on their campaign promise this year.

Not all companies that have operations connected to marijuana are facing banking challenges. For example, entities such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) that are focused on developing medicinal formulations containing THC follow a set of regulations formulated by the FDA regarding drug development. Since these operations are federally regulated, operators are regarded as federally permitted firms and aren’t denied banking services in the same way that entities selling state-level recreational or medical marijuana are.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC

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