The political battle over cannabis continues, as Senate Republicans vote against proposed legislation to provide banks with regional access to the cannabis market. The bill, which was supported by Democrats, failed to pass as Senate Republicans offered a decisive ‘no’ to the proposed banking measure. With a heated debate looming on the horizon, GOP Senator John Doe spoke out against the proposed bill, saying it wouldn’t be taken up by his party. What does this mean for the future of cannabis banking in the United States?
1. Democrat Senators Reject Cannabis Banking Push
Several democrat senators rejected a proposal aiming to bring more banking accessibility to the burgeoning cannabis industry. The initiative, put forth by Senator Jeff Merkley, would have amended the Bank Secrecy Act and the Controlled Substances Act in order to make financial institutions feel more secure in working with cannabis businesses.
The proposal, dubbed the SAFE Banking Act, faced opposition from many democrats due to its lack of clarification on issues such as cannabis’ legality and possible spikes in usage. In addition to those concerns, the bill failed to address the social justice issues tied to cannabis, namely the inequitably harsh punishments dealt out to those of color over the years for cannabis-related crimes. These numerous qualms led to an almost unanimous dissent from the democratic senators.
2. GOP Senator Claims Dems Refused to Act
In a bitter volley between the two major political parties, Republican Senator Alex Ramirez has claimed that their Democratic opponents “refused to act” on urgent public health and economic needs. Ramirez argued that despite multiple calls for Congressional swift action to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats failed to advocate for measures that would help the nation.
He stated that the lives of everyday Americans had been put in danger due to the inaction of the Democratic-controlled House and Senate. He also accused them of not adequately addressing the issue of unemployment and allowing millions of people to suffer from its consequences. He attributed these shortcomings to the Democrats’ focus on partisan games and their insistence on using “political grandstanding” over pressing matters of national importance.
3. Can the Cannabis Industry Win in a Bankless Environment?
As the cannabis industry continues to move towards a more mainstream place in the banking system, questions have emerged as to whether this sector can truly win in a bankless environment. After all, traditional banking services are still widely inaccessible for the sector due to its often complex regulations and compliance requirements.
Fortunately, new developments in fintech and cryptocurrency offer some potential solutions. Here’s a look at what the cannabis industry can gain with a bankless approach:
- More flexibility. A bankless option, like crypto and e-payments, can provide more flexible payment options that can adjust in real-time to changes in the industry.
- Secure transactions. Crypto and blockchain technologies can offer a secure environment for transactions, with encrypted data and verified transactions.
- Accessibility. Cryptocurrency is available to all users around the world, regardless of region and without the need for a traditional bank account.
The cannabis industry has the potential to benefit from a bankless approach, as long as the proper inputs and infrastructure are in place. With the right framework and technological solutions, the industry can create more secure, efficient, and accessible payment solutions for an ever-expanding industry.
4. What This Means for Cannabusiness in the Years to Come
The impact of the cannabis industry is exponential. As people become more aware of the medicinal benefits of the plant, more businesses are being drawn to the industry. The demand for related products and services is on the rise, and cannabusiness will continue to boom in the coming years. Here are a few implications of an increasingly active industry:
- Opportunities for Growth: B2B and B2C cannabis companies will have numerous opportunities to expand their market share. Innovative products and services will continue to emerge, offering cannabusinesses the chance to gain a foothold in the industry.
- Job Creation: Cannabusinesses will continue to create jobs, from management-level positions to entry-level. As cannabis products become more popular, job opportunities in the industry will grow as well.
- Competition: As more businesses join the industry, competition will become more intense. Cannabusinesses will have to stay on top of their game in order to stay afloat amidst the growing competition.
The cannabis industry is set to experience rapid growth in the coming years, and cannabusinesses will have to adapt to the changing landscape. Companies will need to stay on top of innovations and new trends in order to stay competitive and remain profitable.
The fight for cannabis banking still wages on, and with the Democrats unwilling to take it up, the pressure rests upon the Republicans in Congress to recognize the needs of the many, and help propel the industry forward. As the debates go on, different interpretations of the subject should be expected.