WASHINGTON – Cannabis business leaders from across the country are convening in Washington, D.C., for NCIA’s 11th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days Wednesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 18. Over the course of the two days, over 150 pre-scheduled meetings will be held with congressional representatives to discuss the negative impact outdated federal prohibition policies have on the legal cannabis industry, which is a rapidly growing sector of the U.S. economy.
The fly-in takes place on the heels of a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the challenges cannabis businesses and their employees face due to the lack of access to banking services, which is a result of federal marijuana law conflicting with 38 states that allow for regulated cannabis sales for medical or adult use. Advocates are calling for the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act which would allow financial institutions to do business with the state-legal cannabis industry without running afoul of federal law.
The bipartisan SAFE Banking Act (S. 1323 & H.R. 2891) has passed out of the House seven times in previous congressional sessions with wide bipartisan margins but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Advocates are hopeful for the fate of the bill this year, as more than three-quarters of the Senate represents a state that would benefit from its passage — including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
An Independent Community Bankers of America poll conducted by Morning Consult in September 2022 found that 71% of voters agree that cannabis-related businesses should have access to the banking system. A November 2022 Gallup survey found that 68% of Americans support making cannabis legal for adults and a recent Pew Research Center poll found that less than 10% of Americans still support marijuana prohibition.
NCIA leadership and Lobby Days participants will be available for comment at a Senate staff briefing on Thursday.
WHAT: Senate Staff Briefing on the SAFE Banking Act
WHEN: Thursday, May 18, 2023, 9:00 AM Eastern
WHERE: 325 Russell Senate Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Chris Jackson, NCIA Board Vice-Chair & Michigan-based cannabis operator and social equity leader
Monica Gray-Fong, NCIA Board Member & COO of California-based licensed cannabis distribution and delivery service, Nice Guys Inc.
Kirk Fredrickson, CEO of 2Accept, a leading payment processor serving the cannabis industry
Adam Crabtree, Founder & CEO of NCS Analytics, a leading data analysis firm serving cannabis regulators
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only organization focused on representing small and independent cannabis-related businesses at the national level. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible, sustainable, and inclusive cannabis industry and works for a favorable social, economic, and regulatory environment for that industry throughout the United States.