Senate Amendment 2107 on Wednesday as a part of a larger bill aimed at reducing financial industry regulations of 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act, originally passed in the wake of the Great Recession. The new amendment would restrict federal regulators from “prohibiting, penalizing, or otherwise discouraging a depository institution from providing financial services to a cannabis-related legitimate business. “
Because cannabis is still considered a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government, banks that rely on federal insurance have for years denied accounts to state-legal weed businesses, Only days after Merkley’s amendment was introduced, the legislation already has nine high-profile co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, including Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.
Despite the groundswell of support for Merkley’s marijuana banking amendment, the same cannot be said for Senate Bill 2155, the larger bill in which SA 2107 is housed.
After the bill passed an initial vote with support from 17 Democratic lawmakers, Senator Warren – a co-sponsor of Merkley’s canna-banking amendment – chided her party mates, calling the overarching banking bill an affront to the American public.
“People in this building may forget the devastating impact of the financial crisis 10 years ago – but the American people have not forgotten,” told Democratic senators this week, standalone Senate bill for cannabis banking already has 15 bipartisan co-sponsors, with an companion bill in the House already ammassing 89 supporters.
With significant support from Senate Republicans and Democrats, legislators will vote on SB 2155 next week, where the marijuana banking amendment could very well serve as a liberal consolation prize in an otherwise conservative victory.