State Attorneys General (AGs) play a central role in enforcing cannabis laws and protecting consumers. As legalization continues to sweep the country, the interplay between state and federal law demands particular attention. In this edition of The 411 on 420, Perkins Coie senior counsel Andrew Kline discusses the role of the State AGs with Austin
To say that the United States has a complicated relationship with hemp is an understatement. In this edition of The 411 on 420, Perkins Coie partner Barak Cohen discusses hemp’s complicated past and promising future with Eric Steenstra, founding member of the Hemp Industries Association, Vice President of the California Hemp Council and President of…
Late last evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed SAFE Banking legislation by voice vote, offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA/H.R. 4350). While SAFE Banking legislation previously passed in the House, it had stalled in the Senate due to Republicans’ demands for changes that would have transformed the bill from one offering protection to financial institutions in the cannabis industry, to one enacting additional guardrails on federal marijuana policy. SAFE Banking legislation’s inclusion in a must-pass bill this time around marks a critical step in the effort to enact this legislation this Congress.
What is SAFE Banking legislation?
The SAFE Banking amendment would enable financial institutions to support the cannabis industry by eliminating two major risks of adverse government action. The proposed law explicitly permits financial institutions to do business with cannabis companies and prohibits the government from terminating or limiting a financial institution’s deposit or share insurance solely because the institution works with a cannabis business. These changes would remove current federal restrictions that have resulted in only a limited number of financial institutions currently willing to take on the risk of banking cannabis companies. And those that do charge exorbitant fees and costs that foreclose the services to many—predominately impacting small and diversity-owned entities. As a result, the economic development of all cannabis industries, and especially small and diversity-owned entities, has been impeded through reduced liquidity, heightened entry barriers, and heightened security issues for some businesses forced to depend upon cash transactions.
Continue Reading U.S. House Votes SAFE Banking Legislation into Defense Bill
Last week, Senators Schumer (D-NY), Booker (D-NJ), and Wyden (D-OR) circulated a discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a legislative proposal to deschedule and legalize cannabis. In related statements to the Senate, Senator Schumer emphasized that cannabis legislation will be prioritized during this Congress, stating “it’s time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana [a]nd as majority leader, I am going to push this issue forward and make it a priority.”
While there is much to explore in the bill’s 163 pages, here are five immediate takeaways for the cannabis industry.
Continue Reading Senators Propose Cannabis Descheduling Plan: Five Takeaways for The Cannabis Industry