Comments from BCP Green
While it is good to see that cannabis reform is being discussed nationally, it is unlikely to see much action before the 2022 midterms. There is simply too much else that Congress and the Biden administration are trying to accomplish. With the 60 votes required to do anything, it is unlike that the proponents of this bill will find 10 Republican Senators willing to hang their hat on this will an upcoming midterm.
If however, the filibuster get modified (or removed), the floodgates may open for legalization opportunities. I would watch for that filibuster discussion to play out as the Democrats in the Senate push for the For The People Act.
All that said, the fact that the SAFE Banking act has even a potential to pass should be a strong indicator to investors, lenders and operators that it is time to prepare your long term plans for the reality of legal and institutional banking to be on the horizon.
Weed Professionals Give Mixed Reception To Reintroduction Of Cannabis Banking Bill In Congress
In 2019, the SAFE Banking Act, a measure that would prevent federal banking regulators from sanctioning banks for working with legal cannabis businesses, passed in the House of Representatives only to languish in the then Republican-controlled Senate. Last week, the bill showed a shred of life when it was reintroduced in the House. Now that the Democrats are in control of Congress and the White House, is there hope that the SAFE Banking Act will finally pass?
The reaction among cannabis professionals has been equivocal, at best. For instance, Nathaniel Gurien, CEO of Fincann, a provider of payment solutions for the cannabis industry, feels the bill is nothing more than a superficial band aid to a larger problem, namely the federal illegality of the plant.
“If Congress passes simple cannabis de-scheduling or the similar MORE Act, [which would decriminalize marijuana] this summer as expected, then the SAFE Banking Act would be moot,” he said.
Yet Gurien has his doubts. “Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) appears inclined towards more comprehensive legalization, which will likely require a couple years of wrangling with ‘stakeholders’ pushing federal legalization into the next Congress and 2023.”
Matt Hawkins, founder and managing partner of Entourage Effect Capital, is adopting a glass half-full perspective. For him, the passage of the bill would be a boon for the industry as it could pave the way for plant-touching businesses to be able to trade on the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange in the future. “This could open the floodgates for institutional investors who have been hungry to invest in this space and could also allow legal businesses to finally tap into capital markets and become closer to operating like mainstream companies,” he explained. “Additionally, larger operators and ancillary companies flush with cash could have the buying power to more efficiently scale their businesses throughout the country”… READ MORE