America COMPETES Act Pits Cannabis Against Crypto

America COMPETES Act Pits Cannabis Against Crypto

It’s important to read between the lines. Last week, Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo) attached the SAFE Banking Act to the 2022 America COMPETES Act, touting the cannabis industry’s “desperate need” for access to the federal banking system. It’s not a new trick. They tried to attach the legislation to a US Defense spending bill last year. It failed in the Senate.

What the congressman failed to mention in his press release was that COMPETES also gives the US Treasury Secretary “unilateral, unlimited power to ban any type of financial asset that has a foreign link, without public notice, and without any time limit.” Senator Cynthia Lummis (R – WY), likened it to “what the Chinese Communist Party would impose on industry.” 

As if Congress didn’t have enough to disagree on, they have now pit cannabis against crypto. Unless the language of the bill changes, one cannot win without the other losing. Of course, this all could have been avoided if they just listened to the will of the people and passed the SAFE Act in 2019 when it was introduced, along with the MORE Act last year. 

2022 States Reform Act Endorsed by Amazon

The States Reform Act, which was introduced by Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC) in November, removes marijuana as a Schedule I substance, leaving cannabis reform up to the states. Amazon (AMZN) backed the bill publicly last week. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are supportive if it. Pass it, and weed is federally legal. It couldn’t be simpler, right?

Sadly, nothing is that easy in this political climate. Nancy Mace is a republican. Ed Perlmutter is a Democrat. The MORE Act was first sponsored by Kamala Harris (D-CA) in 2019. She’s the VP now. It’s like a UFC cage fight, and it’s not the only one. The undercard is Cynthia Lummis, a republican, versus Janet Yellen, a Biden appointee. Let’s get ready to rumble.

Perhaps I’m jaded, but it’s hard to believe that this polarized crew will get anything done. Multi-state cannabis operators like Trulieve (OTC:TCNNF) and Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF) aren’t changing their business plans over it. Eighteen states have legalized marijuana already. The established players are growing their firms organically where they can, pun intended.

Hanover Bank Joins Growing List of Bakkt Crypto Partners       

The crypto world doesn’t seem overly concerned over the wording of COMPETES. Bakkt Holdings Inc (BKKT) announced yesterday that Hanover Community Bank will be joining their early adopter program to connect to Bakkt’s cryptocurrency platform. Share prices for Bakkt, which have been declining in recent months, are up 12% this week. 

As for Bitcoin (BTC), it’s climbed above $38K this week and looks like it might pass $40K again before Valentine’s Day. SEC Chair Gary Gensler is focused on cybercrime after the recent ransomware attacks on the oil industry in Germany and a pending conflict in the Ukraine. Crypto exchange regulation is still coming, but it will be much later in the year.    


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About the Author

America COMPETES Act Pits Cannabis Against Crypto

Kevin Flynn

A former financial professional and founder of AdvisorScale Financial Writing, Kevin lives in Leominster, Massachusetts with his wife Evelyn, two cats, and nine wonderful grandchildren.