Chris Li

Sen. Gardener Aims for Cannabis Banking Reforms This Week

Senator Cory Gardener (R-Colorado) is planning to propose a major overhaul to banking rules for state-legal cannabis companies this week, The Denver Post reports.

“This is by far and away the best shot we’ve had so far,” Sen. Gardner told The Denver Post on Friday.

Sen. Gardener’s plan is to attach a piece of legislation he co-sponsored earlier this year — The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act — to a criminal justice reform bill that has become a priority for both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) during the current, lame-duck session of Congress.

The STATES Act would essentially make federal cannabis laws mirror state cannabis laws, meaning that cannabis businesses in state-legal markets would suddenly have access to all of the normal benefits granted to mainstream business interests.

Specifically, banking access, business tax write-offs, and potential access to stock markets come to mind.

“It would be monumental. It would fix our tax problem. It would open up a lot of new options for commercial banking services, and it would end the threat of the (Department of Justice) kicking in our doors and seizing our assets.” — Neal Levine, CEO of the Cannabis Trade Federation, via The Denver Post

Sen. Gardener has had federal cannabis reforms on his mind for months, having secured President Trump’s commitment to allowing a states’ rights approach to legalization in April. The Colorado senator was then joined in June by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) in submitting the STATES Act.

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