New US Senate panel chair could boost prospects for cannabis banking reform

A new chair of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee could pump fresh life into stalled cannabis banking reform – even if Republicans maintain control of the upper chamber when the next Congress convenes in January.

Cannabis banking reform would pave the way for marijuana businesses to gain access to traditional financial services, which would be a game changer for the industry. Most marijuana businesses deal primarily with cash.

To that end, marijuana industry officials are heartened that the likely incoming chair of the Senate banking committee, Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, is open to legislation that would allow financial institutions to serve MJ businesses without fear of federal reprisal.

“He provides a much more realistic pathway through that committee than we had with (current Senate Banking Chair) Mike Crapo,” said David Mangone, director of policy and government affairs for The Liaison Group, a Washington DC firm that lobbies for the National Cannabis Roundtable.

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