The SAFE Banking Act is no longer in the National Defense Authorization Act and therefore will not pass in this Congress. For weeks, both industry sources and Congressional sources have been predicting that SAFE would pass in the lame duck session. As late as this past Friday, we heard from two different sources who attended a meeting with Democratic Senate leaders that SAFE would pass in the lame duck session.

And then came DOJ. At the beginning of December the Department of Justice issued a memorandum describing its problems with SAFE. This, coupled with Sen. Mitch McConnell’s opposition to anything marijuana (regular readers will recall he referred to marijuana as hemp’s “illicit cousin which I choose not to embrace”), was enough to coalesce Republican opposition to including SAFE in the NDAA.

There is a chance, albeit slim, that SAFE could be included in an Omnibus bill that Congress will try to pass before the end of this legislative session, but given the opposition to SAFE and the fact that there are six legislative days left in this session of Congress, we do not believe it will happen.

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