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Marijuana banking excluded from $900 billion coronavirus relief package

A similar version of this story appears on Marijuana Business Daily.

Marijuana banking laws will have to wait.

A hoped-for change to make it easier for high-THC cannabis operators to access banking services isn’t included in the 5,593-page, $900 billion coronavirus relief bill awaiting the president’s signature, even though it was part of the initial U.S. House relief measure.

But there is still hope that marijuana banking reform will be included if there’s a push for additional COVID-19 stimulus after President-elect Joe Biden assumes office in January, said David Mangone, director of policy for The Liaison Group, a Washington DC firm that lobbies for the National Cannabis Roundtable.

The banking change would allow financial institutions to provide traditional banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal punishment.

The prospects of those changes – which was soundly passed by the U.S. House last year in the form of the SAFE Banking Act – also could brighten in the next administration under a new Senate banking chair.

That, of course, depends on whether Republicans maintain control of the Senate.

If Democrats were to win the two Georgia runoff seats in January, then cannabismarijuana banking reform would be more likely.

In the meantime, the coronavirus relief bill includes provisions that likely would help cannabis sales. Those include:

  • A $300-a-week jobless benefit supplement through mid-March.
  • $600 stimulus checks to Americans who earned less than $75,000 in the preceding tax year. Families also would receive a $600 for each child.

– Jeff Smith

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