As the United States moves step by step towards ending federal cannabis prohibition, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will hear some sensible provisions next week. Two proposals that are common sense to most people have a good chance of passage after years of obstruction from previous congressional leadership: allowing state-regulated cannabis businesses access to banking services and letting Washington, D.C., legalize cannabis commerce. The banking provision doesn’t replace the need to pass a standalone bill, but it is a good sign of our momentum in the Halls of Congress, as Tom Angell reported over at Forbes:
Federal officials would be blocked from punishing banks for working with marijuana businesses under an annual spending bill released by congressional Democratic leaders on Sunday.
The legislation, which is set to be considered by a House subcommittee on Monday, would also remove a longstanding rider that prevents the city of Washington, D.C. from spending its own money to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis sales.
The spending proposal, as introduced by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, if approved by that panel, would next head to the full Appropriations Committee and then to the House floor. It could be amended at either stage and will later be merged with parallel legislation in the Republican-controlled Senate, meaning that it is far from certain that the marijuana policy implications in the initial House draft will be enacted into law as currently drafted.
While it is often touted that legalization is inevitable, it isn’t, and the cannabis industry and community will need to remain vigilant lobbying legislators and urging allies to get involved. Those in power don’t give up their power easily and long held prejudices are tough to change. The good news is that we are more powerful than ever and the wind is at our backs as we’ve built up momentum that will bring more freedom, jobs, and revenue to our nation if we keep up the political pressure.
To stay up-to-date on all things cannabis, and to network with top investors and entrepreneurs, the International Cannabis Business Conference is the industry event for you. Next up: Vancouver, Canada, this September 15-16. Be sure to get your discounted, early bird tickets by August 21st to save.