Year after year, state after state, the growing movement to legalize cannabis continues. Booming business opportunities see entrepreneurs legally selling their products, enjoying ever-expanding profits.
Yet, obstacles continue. Federal laws still ban any form of use. Legitimacy in financial transactions between buyers and sellers has a long way to go.
Signs of progress are in view
For several years, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, representing the seventh district of Colorado, has continued to introduce the same piece of legislation, only to see his efforts fall short. This past year, he finally achieved a different outcome when the bill passed out of the House with bipartisan support.
The proposed and long-gestating SAFE Banking Act would ease the process for banks and financial institutions to partner with legal marijuana companies to provide loans and other forms of financing. However, finding areas of agreement remains slow due to the state-federal disconnect and opposition from the chair of the banking committee.
Despite his virulent opposition to legalization, Chairman Mike Crapo held a hearing on the bill this past July. However, follow-up was nonexistent. The senator from Idaho, one of a handful of states not to pass any form of cannabis or CBD legislation, instead hinted that he would introduce his own bill outside of the SAFE Banking Act.
By the end of 2019, he gave indications on what his legislation would resemble. Severe restrictions and caps would be placed on existing state programs. The bill would also call for a ban on high-TCH vapes and edibles.
The waiting game continues, yet with a little more promise and optimism for those in the cannabis business.