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SAFE Banking, Veterans Medical Marijuana Access Approved In House As Part Of National Defense Act

Rep. Ed Perlmutter had been pushing cannabis banking reform included in a large-scale manufacturing bill also to no avail, which apparently convinced him to try a different path.

By Maureen Meehan

Following Wednesday’s House approval of two psychedelics research amendments, another package of bills, including banking and veterans’ access were approved, bringing the total to nine drug policy measures passed in the chamber as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.

One amendment from Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) that advocates and stakeholders had been monitoring closely contains the language of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, reported Marijuana Moment, which would protect financial institutions that provide services to state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.

cannabis money
Photo by Kindel Media via Pexels

RELATED: These Marijuana & Psychedelics Amendments Could Be Included In Next Defense Bill

Perlmutter discussed the measure in the Rules Committee earlier in the week, noted Marijuana Moment, arguing that it was relevant to the must-pass defense bill as it would help combat international drug trafficking, a national security risk. Although the House adopted the amendment as part of last year’s NDAA, the Senate nixed it.

Perlmutter had been pushing cannabis banking reform included in a large-scale manufacturing bill also to no avail, which apparently convinced him to try a different path.

Another Bipartisan Amendment Approved

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Mast’s (R-FL) ​​​​​amendment codifying the ability of Veterans Administration doctors to discuss and issue recommendations for medical cannabis to veterans also passed the House.

In a missive shared with Marijuana Moment, Blumenauer and Mast discussed the important therapeutic potential of cannabis for veterans suffering from PTSD and argued that current VA policy prohibiting doctors from issuing recommendations was forcing veterans to seek care outside of the VA.

RELATED: This Senator Says Congress Needs To Catch Up With Americans, Pushes For Cannabis Banking Reform Bill

“VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer a recommendation that they think may meet the needs of their patients,” they wrote. “Veterans should not be forced outside the VA system to seek treatment that is legal in their state.”

Perlmutter tweeted the following about the SAFE Banking amendment:

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.