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US House includes SAFE Banking Act in revised COVID-19 relief bill.
The updated HEROES Act, which was revised according to negotiations since it was first introduced in May, includes language from the SAFE Banking Act. The earlier version did, as well, but the Republican-controlled Senate didn’t budge on Democrats’ COVID-19 relief plan.
According to a summary of the revised bill, Section 606 would:
“Allow cannabis-related legitimate businesses, that in many states have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic as essential services, along with their service providers, to access banking services and products, as well as insurance. This section also requires reports to Congress on access to financial services and barriers to marketplace entry for potential and existing minority-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.”
In response, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats in a recent press release that read:
“House Democrats Left In Their Favorite Wish List Items: Tax Cuts For The Wealthy, Rebate Checks For Illegal Immigrants, Legalizing Ballot Harvesting, And Of Course, Cannabis Provisions.”
Nonetheless, the House passed the Act this week.
Trump signs spending bill that includes hemp pilot program extension.
As Cannabis Wire recently reported, a US House budget bill included a long-called-for extension for states’ hemp pilot programs.
The context: Many states have been operating under hemp pilot programs created in response to the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed for such programs. Then, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, and the USDA subsequently created formal rules for hemp cultivation, which required states to get in line by this October.
Nonetheless, in recent months, lawmakers, agriculture regulators, and hemp industry stakeholders have been calling for more time for states to get up to speed with the USDA’s new hemp regulations.
President Donald Trump signed the bill this week.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs cannabis pardon executive order.
This week, Polis signed an executive order that grants pardons to people convicted of possession of one ounce or less or cannabis.
“We are finally cleaning up some of the inequities of the past by pardoning 2,732 convictions for Coloradans who simply had an ounce of marijuana or less. It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” Polis said in a statement.
FBI data show that cannabis arrests have dropped, but numbers are still high.
New FBI data highlight that, for the first time in four years, cannabis-related arrests dropped. Law enforcement made 545,602 arrests for cannabis-related violations last year, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The vast majority were for possession, and were most likely to occur in the northeast.