A new version of a congressional defense bill does not include marijuana banking reform following negotiations between the House and Senate. But there are still moving parts, and the lead sponsor of the cannabis reform has pledged to take committee action to add the language before the bill is finalized. While the House passed its initial version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in September with language to protect banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses, those provisions are not attached to a new bicameral deal filed on Tuesday. There was an open question about whether the Senate would follow the House’s lead, with key leaders like Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) insisting that broad justice-focused marijuana reform should be addressed before passing something like the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. But in a setback for advocates and stakeholders who hoped to secure the banking provisions, negotiators from both chambers circumvented the need for a formal conference and produced a bill without the cannabis language. This latest iteration will now go through both chambers again before potentially being sent to the president’s desk. That said, it’s still possible that the newly negotiated legislation could be further revised. The House Rules Committee is expected to take up the measure on Tuesday, and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the chief sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, who is a member of the panel, says he will file an amendment to add his cannabis provisions to the bill.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/07/2021 12:11:00