In the latest sign of shifting attitudes on marijuana policy in Congress, a Senate bill to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses gained a notable new cosponsor on Wednesday. Susan Collins, the Republican senator from Maine who is well known as a centrist, signed onto the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The move is particularly notable given that just a few years ago she spoke out forcefully against a similar proposal because she didn’t want banks to “essentially finance dealers of recreational marijuana.” To that end, the latest cosponsorship may be a bellwether for the legislation, signaling that like its House companion, it stands to earn bipartisan support if advanced to the Senate floor. Back in 2015, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced an amendment to a funding bill that would bar federal regulators from using their resources to penalize banks just because they provide financial services to cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 05/13/2021 12:33:00