A provision that would protect banks working with cannabis businesses has caused serious tension between Democrats and Republicans.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended the decision to include cannabis banking protections in the Democrats’ latest coronavirus stimulus bill, following strong criticisms by Republicans. As part of the $3 trillion stimulus bill, the provision would allow legal marijuana businesses to access banking services.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the provision earlier this week, saying it wasn’t “directly related” to the coronavirus response. Pelosi responded to those charges Friday and what she called “misrepresentation” in the Republicans’ proposed relief package.
“I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related to this,” Pelosi said at a Friday press conference. “This is a therapy that has proven successful.”
Pelosi didn’t cite any specific studies, but a recent Israeli clinical trial found cannabis terpenes and CBD outperformed the leading COVID-19 treatment in reducing disease-related inflammation. Another preliminary study reported that cannabis might also prevent the spread and severity of COVID-19, though the research hasn’t been peer-reviewed.
McConnell mercilessly attacked Pelosi on the Senate floor this week for attaching the cannabis banking provision. He noted the word “cannabis” appeared 68 times in the Democrats’ stimulus package. That’s “more times than the word ‘job’ and four times as many as the word ‘hire,’” he said.
He also labeled language in the bill that required research into minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the cannabis space as “the cherry on top.” (Read Full Article)