Cannabis News of Note for the Week:
Punchbowl News: K Street is skeptical banking, credit card bills will get done (paywalled newsletter, text below)
Cannabis Reports of Note for the Week:
Punchbowl Newsletter from 2/4: K Street is skeptical banking, credit card bills will get done
The chances of Congress passing marijuana banking legislation and a bill taking aim at credit card fees this year are slim.
That’s according to our latest survey of K Street movers and shakers — The Canvass.
The majority of senior K Street leaders believe both policy projects — which have been big topics in the banking space over the last year — are unlikely to cross the finish line. The survey was conducted Jan. 8-26 in partnership with LSG.
Marijuana banking: Just 9% of K Street leaders believe marijuana banking is likely to get done in 2024, while 64% believe it’s unlikely. Democrats were slightly more likely to give the project better odds but still mostly rated it a longshot.
This is a huge issue for cannabis businesses and has found bipartisan support and some momentum on the Hill. The Senate Banking Committee approved a bill last year that would grant a regulatory safe harbor for banks to work with state-legal cannabis companies, known as the SAFER Banking Act.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to put the legislation on the floor. But last fall’s markup, with a vote of 14-9, made clear that backers may still have work to do to build enough support with the GOP for this to have a real shot.
Credit card fees: The Credit Card Competition Act also has dim prospects, according to K Street. Only 7% of leaders who responded to our survey believe the bill is likely to pass, while 61% percent say it’s unlikely.
That could spell good news for the banking industry, which has fought against the legislation championed by retailers. The bill from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) would require big financial institutions to offer a second credit card network in electronic transactions, in a bid to force card fees down.
The battle over swipe fees has been raging for years and it is not going away. Both retailers and bankers see it as a policy issue with big implications for their bottom lines.