Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell visits cannabis execs in California
“Moscow Mitch” McConnell is probably one of the most disliked figures in Washington, DC these days — he’s the Republican Senate Majority Leader, which means he’s responsible for much of the gridlock there lately. House Democrats are trying to pass reforms, not to mention impeach our “very stable genius” of a President, but McConnell has routinely obstructed legislation, and stood by Trump while he’s asked foreign countries to interfere in our elections and allowed a massacre to happen in Syria. Mitch McConnell isn’t a a very good person!
Nevertheless, politics makes strange bedfellows, as they say, and the cannabis industry needs help from McConnell and his Senate right now. The cannabis industry doesn’t have access to banking services (because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and banks won’t lend money or provide security to an illegal industry), but the US House has passed a bill that would open the door for banks to offer help without fear of litigation. That means the bill heads next to the Senate for consideration, which is why the cannabis industry, of all people, is reportedly courting Mitch McConnell this week.
McConnell reportedly spent a few days in California, having low profile meetings with cannabis executives and cannabis-related small business owners, and even toured one facility, according to MarketWatch. McConnell isn’t a complete stranger to cannabis — his Senate did pass a bill that made hemp legal earlier this year (presumably because he wanted to try to keep the support of farmers, even while Trump continues to make moves that will actually hurt them). And of course, Republicans in general are also often swayed by the promise of more money, and approving banking for the cannabis industry would definitely make a lot of people (in the banks and in the cannabis industry) a whole lot more money.
So as odious as it might be to break bread with McConnell and his ilk, the cannabis industry needs his help. Wining and dining senators is definitely not the most ideal or just way to pass a law, but for business owners whose businesses are dying because they’re buried in cash they can’t deposit anywhere, it probably seems like a necessary evil. If Mitch starts singing a different tune on the SAFE Banking Act when he returns to Washington, we’ll know this courting helped.