Marijuana Banking Reform Advances in Congress Thanks To Old Trick, But Passage Through Senate Unlikely

Major federal marijuana reform advanced Thursday thanks to an old Congressional trick—tucking unrelated business into a larger, must-pass bill—when the U.S. House of Representatives approved granting legal protection for banks working with cannabis businesses as part of the annual defense spending bill.

The so-called Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act—which would allow cannabis businesses in the 36 states with retail dispensaries to pay taxes with a check and secure loans and allow customers to use debit cards—passed the House for the fifth time late Thursday, when key elements of the bill were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

If passed by the Senate and signed into

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