MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 33

National & International INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
Cannabis News
The bill stands to threaten the
recent recommendation from the
Department of Health and Human
Services to downgrade marijuana
from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 3
controlled substance.
U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis of
Photo courtesy of Senate
Banking Committee webcast
Senate Committee Passes
Banking Bill; Lawmakers Try
to Thwart Rescheduling
The latest push for federal cannabis
banking reform in the United
States passed a markup hearing
in the Senate Banking Committee,
demonstrating bipartisan support
for allowing state-legal marijuana
businesses to access financial
services and setting up the bill for a
full vote in the chamber.
The hearing's outcome improves
prospects that mainstream
financial institutions can serve
state-regulated cannabis businesses
despite federal marijuana
prohibition, reducing the industry's
dependence on cash.
It's the first time the banking
legislation-rebranded as the
SAFER (Secure and Fair Enforcement
Regulation) Banking Act-has
garnered a yes vote in the Senate.
The SAFER Banking Act is a revived
and revised version of several
previous cannabis banking reform
bills to make it through the House
but not the Senate.
However, the legislation is still
far from becoming law. And its
prospects in the House are unclear.
Meanwhile, two supporters of
SAFER Banking introduced the
Deferring Executive Authority
(DEA) Act, which would require
any proposed change to federal
drug law to first get approval from
Congress.
Wyoming and Steve Daines of
Montana, the bill's authors, said
that such power is reserved for
Congress, where marijuana policy
reform has been blocked for years.
Dutch Cannabis Pilot Startup
Phase Will Finally Launch
The startup phase for a pilot
program to allow limited cultivation
and distribution of adult-use
cannabis in the Netherlands is
set to launch in December with
only two cultivators, the Dutch
government disclosed in a letter to
Parliament.
The program, which is supposed
to involve 10 cannabis cultivators
supplying dozens of stores, had
originally been intended to launch
in 2020.
In the phase starting Dec. 15,
participating coffee shops in the
cities of Breda and Tilburg will be
allowed to offer both legally grown
cannabis and unregulated products.
The Dutch government expects
the startup phase to last a
maximum of six months. The next
growers are expected to start
supplying shops in February 2024,
the government said.
The Netherlands has been trying
to get the pilot off the ground for
almost four years; banking has
been one of the biggest hurdles, the
Dutch government acknowledged.
Canadian Cannabis Farms
Eligible for Federal Funding
Canadian cannabis growers and
processors are eligible to apply
for funding under the new
$2.6 billion (CA$3.5 billion)
Sustainable Canadian Agricultural
Partnership program if certain
conditions are met, the
administrator of the initiative,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
told MJBizDaily.
Any prospective sources of new
funding would be welcome news
for Canada's smaller cannabis
growers and processors, many
of which are struggling under
persistent deflationary and
ultracompetitive pressures, plus
tight funding from private-sector
lenders.
Financing from the Sustainable
Canadian Agricultural Partnership
(Sustainable CAP) program is in
addition to other sources of federal
funding, which Canadian cannabis
companies have already been
tapping, including:
* The Industrial Research
Assistance Program (IRAP), a
federal innovation assistance
program for small and mediumsized
businesses.
* National Research Council
Canada (NRC), the nation's
primary research agency, which
helps small and medium-sized
businesses.
* Scientific Research and
Experimental Development
(SR&ED) tax incentives, a
federal program focused
on boosting research and
development.
The Sustainable CAP program
runs until March 31, 2028, and
includes $740 million in programs
and activities directly administered
by the federal government and
another $3.4 billion commitment
for programs that are cost-shared
and managed by provinces and
territories.
mjbizdaily.com | November-December 2023 33
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MJBiz - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - November/December 2023

MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover1
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - Cover2
MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 3
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