Congressional report: Cannabis banking listed as a “policy issue” for the new Congress.
A Congressional Research Service report published Friday, titled “Federal Reserve: Policy Issues in the 118th Congress,” devotes a section to “cannabis banking.”
“The Fed and other federal bank regulators enforce [anti-money laundering] requirements for banks. Potential punishments for [anti-money laundering] violations and other violations of federal law leave some banks leery of offering financial services to cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law. If cannabis businesses are unable to access traditional financial services, they may face higher borrowing costs and may be heavily reliant on cash transactions, making them a target for theft,” it reads.
The section then outlines what the SAFE Banking Act, which failed to clear Congress, again, as Cannabis Wire reported, would have done, and follows with “policy issues going forward,” which include:
Policy issues going forward include the following:
“• Should banking services be made available for businesses engaged in an activity that is legal under state law and illegal under federal law?
• Have cannabis businesses been harmed by federal barriers to accessing banking? Have these barriers operated in practice as an effective deterrent to the legal use of marijuana under state law?
• Is a legal safe harbor to banks providing services to cannabis businesses justified absent a broader reform of federal cannabis laws? In other words, should banks be singled out for legal protection when other participants in cannabis markets continue to be exposed to prosecution under federal law?”
3 in 10 chronic pain patients use cannabis to help manage pain.
University of Michigan researchers conducted a study that evaluated whether medical cannabis “serves as a substitute for prescription opioids or other pain treatments.”
Researchers surveyed patients who lived in a state with medical cannabis between March and April of 2022.
Results showed that, of the 1,661 people who completed the survey, 3 in 10 said they used medical cannabis to help manage chronic pain.
“Most persons who used cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain reported substituting cannabis in place of other pain medications including prescription opioids. The high degree of substitution of cannabis with both opioid and nonopioid treatment emphasizes the importance of research to clarify the effectiveness and potential adverse consequences of cannabis for chronic pain,” researchers concluded.
“Our results suggest that state cannabis laws have enabled access to cannabis as an analgesic treatment despite knowledge gaps in use as a medical treatment for pain.”
This research was published in JAMA Network Open.
How big will Maryland’s adult use industry be?
According to what Cannabis Public Policy Consulting told Maryland lawmakers is the “first empirical study” of the state’s “cannabis demand,” sales are expected to hit a total of $1 billion by month 20.
This report was presented late last week to the Maryland House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup, which will oversee the implementation of adult use cannabis following voters’ approval of Question 4 at the ballot box in November, as Cannabis Wire reported at the time.