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Cannabis banking declines have “leveled off.”
The latest report notes that the “number of depository institutions (DIs) banking marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) appears to have leveled off from a decline that started at the end of the 1st Quarter FY2020 (December 2019).”
Further, the “decline coincided with the release of guidance by FinCEN and financial regulators on providing financial services to customers engaged in hemp-related business activities.”
And, finally, they flag that the “COVID-19 pandemic may be adding to this apparent decline for two reasons,” including business closures due to “government imposed quarantine restrictions,” and filing delays due to reduced staffing at depository institutions.
US Senate Drug Caucus releases cannabis report.
In late 2019, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held a hearing called “Marijuana and America’s Health: Questions and Issues for Policy Makers.” As Cannabis Wire reported at the time, the hearing was held, in part, Texas Senator John Cornyn said, to help “policymakers to understand the public safety implications of increased marijuana use before we dive in to the admittedly complex and difficult job of changing federal policy” because, he added, “it seems like we’re putting the cart ahead of the horse.”
Cornyn is the co-chair, along with Senator Dianne Feinstein, of the Caucus, and they released a report on Wednesday entitled “Cannabis Policy: Public Health and Safety Issues and Recommendations.” The report, they write, builds on the 2019 event, and “outlines some of the most pressing research and public health issues related to cannabis and provides recommendations to address them.”
Many of the issues outlined in the report do, in fact, overlap with what was discussed at the 2019 event, such as concerns about the potency of cannabis products and use by pregnant individuals.
Feinstein tweeted about the report on Wednesday, writing that it “explains how current barriers to research prevent us from understanding the full effects of marijuana use and recommends passage of the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act.”
Feinstein tweeted again, writing that the bill “will help remove those barriers and promote more research on the health effects and potential medical benefits of marijuana and marijuana-derived products.”
Adult use cannabis bills advance in Hawaii and Minnesota.
As Cannabis Wire reported last month, several adult use bills were introduced in Hawaii. One of those bills, SB 767, is heading to the full Senate after a joint hearing with the Judiciary and Ways and Means committees. The hearing lasted less than five minutes, and both committees voted to advance the bill.
Last month, when the bill advanced out of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, there was already robust testimony both in favor and against the bill. Ahead of this week’s hearing, there was even more.
The movement in Minnesota was more incremental, as the legislation still has a long way to go. The House Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy committee advanced HF 600, which was introduced last month by Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. The bill has already advanced out of the House Commerce Finance and Policy committee and the Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy committee.