With a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill containing criminal justice provisions looking less likely, Senate Democrats are repositioning and instead are focused on getting legislation passed that would allow cannabis businesses access to the U.S. banking system, POLITICO reported.
Using the SAFE Banking Act as the center of legislation, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would then work on adding elements regarding legalization that are amenable to both sides.
Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D-Colo.), the sponsor of SAFE, noted that discussions are still in the early stages. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), co-sponsor of SAFE in the Senate, has dubbed a potential new package as "SAFE Plus."
POLITICO noted that SAFE Plus wouldn't get seriously play until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) comprehensive marijuana legalization bill is introduced.
Multi-state operators: Cresco Labs (OTCQX:CRLBF); Columbia Care (OTCQX:CCHWF); Trulieve Cannabis (OTCQX:TCNNF); Green Thumb Industries (OTCQX:GTBIF); Curaleaf Holdings (OTCPK:CURLF); MedMen Enterprises (OTCQB:MMNFF); Acreage Holdings (OTCQX:ACRHF); Ayr Wellness (OTCQX:AYRWF); Verano Holdings (OTCQX:VRNOF); and Jushi Holdings (OTCQX:JUSHF).
The SAFE Banking Act was included in a larger manufacturing bill, but was recently dropped from it.
However, another just introduced piece of legislation, the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Business Act (CLIMB), has bipartisan support. A note from BTIG on Friday said that CLIMB could be included as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.