It can’t be all wins, all the time, and, unfortunately, we’re still left chasing this one that is just out of reach.
Once again, congressional lawmakers are unable to get the Secure and Fair Enforcement, or SAFE, Banking Act to pass into law.
But what does this mean in plain English?
SAFE Banking would be the official change to reform federal banking restrictions that stop consumers – you – from purchasing marijuana and cannabis products using any type of bank account directly.
If you’ve ever been to a dispensary, you’ll quickly find out that transactions are always cash only.
This isn’t because the dispensary doesn’t trust you or the owner doesn’t want to pay card fees.
It is purely due to restrictions against these transactions by federal banks.
Dispensaries don’t have a choice; they legally can’t process card payments for their goods.
Despite the debate within congress, lawmakers and cannabis advocates all want to find a common ground in ending cannabis criminalization.
The problem is that no one can agree on how to do this or on basic ground rules for the law itself.
It’s like saying everyone wants a picture to be purple, but some people want to paint it, some want to color it with crayons, and some people want to mix the purple themselves.
In the middle of this whole argument stand many Democratic party representatives, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who wants to prioritize broader legalization and social equity measures.
They want to legalize cannabis everywhere before figuring out how people will pay for it.
While many on the republican side have said they have no problem with broadening legalization in the long term, they would much rather focus on banking reform in order to allow the Senate to focus on amending larger marijuana and cannabis related bills in the interim.
There is still a long road ahead, but we are making steps forward in other areas.
If you want to be a part of the change, consider writing to your local congressmen and women, and make your voice heard.
We will only make big changes if we do this together.
Here’s to hoping this reform happens soon!