On Thursday, a congressional committee voted to approve legislation that will increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.
The House Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 to advance the legislation to the full body.
House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) said in a radio interview earlier in the week, “We will guide it to the House floor for a vote, which I think it will pass with an overwhelming vote—Democrats and I think a lot of Republicans as well. If we have a strong bipartisan vote that will increase the pressure on the Senate to do something.”
The banking bill “addresses an urgent public safety concern for legitimate businesses that currently have no recourse but to operate with just cash,” Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) said at the start of the committee’s proceedings on the Tuesday.
“However, I also consider this bill as part of a holistic approach toward providing criminal justice reform to those who have been harmed by criminalization of marijuana, and should not by any means be the only bill the House takes up on the important issue of cannabis reform,” she added.
“Some on my side support the measure as written. Many oppose it,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), said at the meeting. “Most important for this committee, we need to ensure that we’re doing our due diligence before proceeding. One committee hearing is not enough to fully understand the consequences of this bill. It is a massive change in federal policy.”