Cannabis News of Note for the Week:
Politico Pro Cannabis: Where SAFE Banking Stands (paywalled newsletter, full text below)
Bloomberg: Schumer Wants Action on Budget, Weed, Insulin and Rail Safety (paywalled, full text attached)
Cannabis Reports of Note for the Week:
Politico Pro Cannabis: WHERE SAFE BANKING STANDS (August 2, 2023)
Senate offices made strides to find a solution for the cannabis banking bill’s holdups before the August recess, but a final decision was not reached — two lobbyists and one senior Democratic staffer told POLITICO on Tuesday. They requested anonymity to comment freely about behind-the-scenes discussions.
While optimism that a deal can be reached is still the name of the game on the Hill, the current landscape is a wealth of possibilities and no cohesive plan. The staffer described the state of play as “fractured” and said there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
“The question is: Is SAFE in a coma, or is it dead?” one lobbyist told POLITICO.
What everyone agrees on: Section 10 remains the holdup, with lines strongly drawn between Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), one of the leaders of the bill, and Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The political side of this relationship — Daines as the National Republican Senate Committee chair tasked with defeating Brown in the Ohio Senate race next fall — will eventually begin to complicate the delicate dance around this bill.
There is also a collective hope that a markup could happen within the first two weeks of September. Having the bill pass out of committee by late September would set it up well for a floor vote by the end of the year, according to the staffer and one lobbyist.
The possible solutions: One plan is for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to introduce an amendment during the markup to change the language of Section 10, but then withdraw the amendment during the same markup. The bill would then advance as it currently stands. One lobbyist and the staffer said this idea has been floated in their discussions.
That process would give Reed the opportunity to object and discuss his concerns without completely derailing the bill.
Both lobbyists also said another option is to revert to the House’s version of the bill — though the staffer said that idea has only been loosely mentioned.
The language of Section 10 is a bit different in the House’s version, where it appears in Section 12. That language has passed the House many times with the support of a majority of Republicans.