Reforming marijuana-related banking laws in the U.S. is proving to be more difficult than anticipated following this week’s Senate hearing on the SAFE Banking Act.
Even where marijuana is state-legal, banking remains a challenge according to testimony given by industry leaders, advocates and lawmakers, CNBC reports. Testimony was made to urge federal lawmakers to open the doors to traditional banking services for the marijuana industry.
Committee Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho was the only republican member to attend the hearing.
Justin Strekal of NORML said, “It really highlights the fear of Republicans to emphasize their prohibitionist policy positions.”
Senator Cory Gardner says the hearing was “an important step toward the federal government waking up to the reality that the cannabis issue is not going away and needs action. In short, the states are leading on this issue, and the federal government has failed to respond. It has closed its eyes and plugged its ears and pretended the issue will go away. It won’t.”
It’s unknown when the SAFE Banking Act will be discussed by federal lawmakers again.