September 3, 2020 11:31 am ETEstimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
The latest round of COVID-19 relief legislation has just come down the pike from the Senate, and while provisions have been made to protect several industries dealing with struggles stemming from the pandemic and the resultant economic crisis, the plan makes no attempt to provide protections for banks that service the cannabis industry.
Republicans in the Senate, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, question the relevance of protecting the cannabis industry. But advocates know that propping up this highly lucrative industry would stimulate America’s economy during these turbulent times. Cannabis banking protections would also allow for alternatives to purchasing with cash. Right now, the vast majority of cannabis transactions are handled with cash, and the hand to hand contact inherent in currency exchange is a potential vector for the spread of the virus.
About the Industry’s Current Banking Situation
The cannabis industry is very lucrative and very highly taxed. But because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, it’s complicated to provide federal services—such as banking—to businesses within the industry. Even if they want to, banks are often barred from working with cannabis businesses because of federal law.
Unfortunately, the SAFE Banking Act has stalled in the Senate. House leaders and cannabis advocates hope to see this act included in the next version of the Senate’s COVID-19 relief plan, but at present, things don’t look especially promising. It seems clear that Republicans in the Senate have no plans to prioritize this industry when it comes to putting together relief for businesses.
What Could Happen if the Cannabis Industry Doesn’t Get Relief and Protection it Needs?
The economy is suffering a recession, and without banking protections, that could hit the cannabis industry harder than most. It doesn’t help matters that for many, cannabis is a luxury. Lots of people depend on medical cannabis to help them manage various illnesses and chronic conditions, but if those who use recreationally decrease their usage, it’s going to have an impact on businesses’ ability to stay open and operational. And it’s possible that recreational use will decline. For one thing, the fact that the purchase of cannabis often requires cash transactions might turn some consumers off. Passing things from hand to hand isn’t ideal during COVID-19. For another thing, though the high tax rate applied to cannabis is a good thing for the economy, it’s not as good for the pocketbooks of individual consumers. People looking to cut their expenses during the recession might well start here.
You can help. Call or write to your Senator and encourage them to see the benefits of supporting the cannabis industry. The first pioneers to open businesses in this new industry need all the support they can get, both from the government and from the people who make up their customer base. Let’s give it to them.
Kat Helgeson comes from a ten year career in social media marketing and content creation. She takes pride in her ability to communicate the culture and values of an organization via the written word. Kat is also the author of numerous books for young adults. Her titles have received the Junior Library Guild Award, the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year Distinction, and been featured on the Illinois Reads selection list. Her work has been translated into Dutch and German.
When you take a dab, you’ll notice a dark, sticky residue left over in your dab rig. This substance is called reclaim, and yes, you can dab reclaim. But what is cannabis reclaim? And is it safe to dab? What is Reclaim? Can You Dab Reclaim? How to Collect Reclaim from a Dab Rig Health…
With its own set of terms and practices distinct from other forms of cannabis, the intricate world of cannabis concentrates—sometimes called extracts—can be overwhelming. A concentrate is a highly potent concentrated cannabis product made by extracting terpenes and cannabinoids (think THC) from cannabis plant material. While there are multiple ways to consume concentrates, the most…
So you love smoking cannabis, but you’re tired of the same ole rolling papers. Perhaps you feel like you’ve graduated from dumping out the tobacco and shoving weed into an empty cigarette. Maybe you’ve recently learned about the potential dangers and risks associated with tobacco blunt wraps and want a healthier option. Let’s explore some…
If you’re reading this, you are either a recreational cannabis veteran who has seen a handful of cannabis smokers passing out from puffing a joint and can’t seem to figure out why. Or, you are a newbie who wants to give recreational or medical cannabis a shot, and the burning question on your mind is,…
When you decide that you are going to dabble in cannabis cultivation, you have many different decisions to make. You’ll have to decide whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, as well as in soil, or the route of hydroponics. You’ll also have to pick what type of planters to use, what grow medium to use,…
The statements made regarding cannabis products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cannabis is not an FDA-approved substance and is still illegal under federal law. The information provided on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. We strongly recommend that you consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider before using any cannabis products. The use of any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.