Janet Yellen 'Extremely Frustrated' With Congress’ Failure Pass Cannabis Banking Reform

During a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her frustration with the Senate’s failure to advance cannabis banking reform – an important issue for public safety.

The exchange occurred between Yellen and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), author of the SAFE Banking Act. Perlmutter mentioned the bill during a conversation about rising violent crime against cannabis businesses in states that have legalized marijuana.

“We have talked about it for a very long time, and I agree with you: It’s an important issue—and it’s an extremely frustrating one that we haven’t been able to resolve it,” Yellen said.

“We’ve worked with you on this bill,” the secretary said. “We’re supportive of it.”

The SAFE Banking Act has passed the House numerous times, but has repeatedly been stalled in the Senate.

With Republicans expected to make significant gains in the midterm elections, the clock is ticking on banking reform. The Hill reports there is an all-out push to get banking reform passed before Senate leadership potentially changes hands.

As CalMarijuanaPolicy reported previously, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes Democrats should hold out on banking reform until they can get a full legalization bill. At this point, that idea amounts to letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

“When you look at cannabis over the last 20 years, it started in California, then went to Colorado, and now it’s legal in 37 states medically and 18 states recreationally,” Jared Maloof, CEO of Ohio-based medical marijuana company Standard Wellness, told The Hill. “That’s all incremental progress. Incremental progress is what got us here, and I’d like to think it’s what will take us over the finish line.”

Image Credit: U.S. Treasury