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Cannabis SAFE Banking Legislation Could Be Heard in Senate Committee Within ‘Weeks’, Recent Report Finds Most Truck Drivers Support Reform for Cannabis Testing, and Marijuana Cultivators in Rhode Island Dealing with Oversupply

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Cannabis SAFE Banking Legislation Could Be Heard in Senate Committee Within ‘Weeks’

Proponents of the SAFE Banking Act feel strongly that the bill would solve the cannabis industry’s persistent issues of cash-only transactions and not being able to attract sound investors. The legislation has passed the House several times, only to die in the Senate. But, the bill was reintroduced earlier this year and supporters are hopeful that the bill will be heard in the Senate before Congress adjourns for the recess beginning July 4th. If the SAFE Banking Act succeeds in gaining a Senate hearing in the coming weeks, it would be the first time the bill received a formal committee meeting in the Senate. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator from Ohio, told Bloomberg Law, “We’re looking at markup on the fentanyl issue, the executive compensation issue and the Safe Banking Act issue, and we want to do all that in the next two or three weeks.” Senator Brown is the chair of the Senate Banking Committee. 

Recent Report Finds Most Truck Drivers Support Reform for Cannabis Testing

A new report indicates that the majority of licensed truck drivers in the United States feel the need for federal cannabis law reform. Most also think that existing policies for cannabis testing are a factor in individuals not joining the industry amid a driver shortage. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) analyzed the current cannabis testing policies in the industry and included survey data from drivers. The survey portion of the ATRI study found that 72.4 percent of licensed truck drivers feel that current cannabis laws and testing regulations should be “loosened”. Drivers were also asked about federal marijuana legalization and 66.5 percent supported nationwide legalization. Additionally, 65.4 percent of motor carriers feel that current cannabis testing needs to be replaced with testing that accurately determines active impairment. 

Marijuana Cultivators in Rhode Island Dealing with Oversupply 

Rhode Island cannabis cultivators are imploring state officials to open more retail marijuana stores to help them deal with the oversupply of the plant. According to the Providence Journal, the state currently has approximately 60 licensed marijuana cultivators supplying products to seven retail stores. Under Rhode Island’s cannabis law, two more retail locations are permitted but are not expected to open until 2025. Rhode Island cannabis businesses are begging lawmakers to make necessary changes to open more cannabis retail stores because they fear if that doesn’t happen, they will have to lay off a significant wave of workers in the industry. According to one cultivator, some cannabis growing operations have already laid off nearly 40 percent of their workforce.