Two cannabis executives told MarketWatch they were encouraged by a Thursday speech in support of a federal action to open the financial services system for legal cannabis companies that have been frozen in the US Senate.
Nineteen Democrats and six Republicans signed the letter calling for the Safe Banking and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act to be included in US competition law, after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the move in February.
said Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp. TRUL: “The difference today was seeing the common positions of Republican and Democratic senators – the fact that it’s a bipartisan group of senators.”
“We find it encouraging.”
Ascend Wellness Holdings AAWH,
CEO Abner Curtin said passing the measure would help smaller cannabis companies face the burden of higher security costs to protect their money.
“We’re very lucky, we’ve never been burgled, but we know a lot of people who have,” Curtin said. “We are well capitalized, so we are in a position to have very good vaults, security systems and cameras. All of these kinds of things are very expensive and difficult to do. It is another barrier for mom-and-pop companies… who find it difficult to Obtaining bank accounts.
While SAFE Banking has passed the US House of Representatives six times, it has yet to vote in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, has not given his full support behind the measure and instead plans to introduce a cannabis bill in the coming months.
Read also: Senate Democrats face two potential approaches to legalizing cannabis
“Allowing cannabis companies to operate legally and comply with state law to access financial services without federal retaliation would address public safety challenges,” Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Jackie Rosen of Nevada said in their Thursday letter to House and Senate leadership. and compliance, helping communities reduce cash-motivated crime.”
Some cannabis companies have been able to open bank accounts, but many use alternative solutions such as cashless ATMs and private payment networks.
Read also: Visa is cracking down on cashless ATMs in cannabis dispensaries