An influential Republican senator on Wednesday said he doesn’t support a House-approved bill that aims to protect banks that work with the marijuana industry.
“I have significant concerns that the SAFE Banking Act does not address the high-level potency of marijuana, marketing tactics to children, lack of research on marijuana’s effects, and the need to prevent bad actors and cartels from using the banks to disguise ill-gotten cash to launder money into the financial system,” said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, in a statement.
“I welcome input from all interested parties on how to thoughtfully address these concerns,” added the Idaho Republican, who earlier this year sounded noncommittal on the measure.
The Democratic-controlled House passed the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in September, but analysts have stressed that the bill faces a tough road in the Republican-led Senate.
Crapo’s comments on Wednesday underscore the challenges before the legislation’s supporters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed potential banking reform with cannabis-industry players in October, but analysts were mixed on what that meant for the bill’s prospects.
Related: Marijuana industry’s lobbying hits record as banking bill hangs in the balance
Pot stocks, as tracked by the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF MJ, -2.20% , have lost 32% in 2019, while the broad S&P 500 index SPX, -0.04% has gained 27%.
Now read: All the excuses cannabis companies are making for an ugly crop of earnings
And see: House panel passes bill that aims to legalize marijuana, but top Democrat concedes ‘Senate will take its own time’
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