Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Democrats for their wielding the latest coronavirus relief bill to help cannabis companies.
“This is a totally unserious effort," the Kentucky Republican said Thursday from the Senate floor.
What To Know
The $3-trillion bill, which can be read here, wants to allow banks to provide financial services to cannabis businesses without being penalized by federal regulators.
Cannabis is medically legal in 33 states, and recreationally legal in 11 states. However, because it remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government, dispensaries and other pot-related businesses are unable to access the same banking services or financial aid options as other sectors.
“The word ‘cannabis’ appears in the bill 68 times," McConnel said. "More times than the word ‘job’ and four times as many as the word ‘hire’... maybe it’s best if House Democrats focus on cannabis studies and leave economics to the rest of us.”
The so-called Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act spans 1,800-plus pages, and contains passages akin to the SAFE Banking Act — a bipartisan legislative measure that was approved by the House of Representatives last year, but went nowhere in the Senate.
The HEROES Act, like SAFE Banking, would have allowed financial lenders, advisors and institutions to provide services to cannabis companies in states where the drug is legal.
Diversity And Inclusion
McConnell also slammed Democrats for wanting the bill to include measures aimed at helping women and minorities that are hoping to launch cannabis businesses. Click here for the video.
"[The] Democrats’ proposed coronavirus bill includes taxpayer-funded studies to measure diversity and inclusion among the people who profit off of marijuana," McConnell said.
“Maybe it’s best if House Democrats focus on cannabis studies and leave economics to the rest of us,” McConnell said.
The bill is expected to go for a vote on Friday.