Banning Marijuana on a federal level has led to a “Twin crisis” of cannabis criminalization and a lack of access to the banking system for marijuana businesses.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) released a video in late September where he stressed the consequences of the policy disconnect and emphasized the need to enact reforms. In the video, he describes the banking issue in terms of equity implications, explaining how small business owners have struggled to compete without a means of obtaining loans and other services that are available to traditional industries. He called it absurd that there is still a federal prohibition as more and more states are legalizing marijuana.
Booker, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, has been working on a marijuana legalization bill called SAFE Plus.
SAFE Plus is assumed to contain cannabis banking protections, as well as other incremental reforms like expungements, veterans’ medical cannabis access, and more. It is expected to be introduced sometime during the lame-duck session after the November midterms.