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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
The S&P/TSX Cannabis Index added 3.54 to 139.84, while the CSE Composite Index added 13.11 to 662.52. South of the border, U.S. lawmakers have succeeded in attaching a cannabis banking bill to a crucial piece of defence legislation. The House Rules Committee voted last night to approve the addition of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The SAFE Act would allow banks and other financial institutions to do business with state-legal cannabis companies without fear of federal repercussions. It would not legalize cannabis, but would still help the industry by lowering the cost of capital. SAFE has cleared the House four times but never the Senate. In tethering it to the NDAA, considered a must-pass in Congress, lawmakers are hoping to force the Senate's hand.
There is still no guarantee that SAFE will survive a journey to the Senate floor. The Senate and the House must negotiate the final version of the NDAA, which could see SAFE stripped out. Much will depend on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his willingness to consider SAFE when he is already trying to champion his own, broader reform bill. He will have to make up his mind quickly (by a politician's standards); the last day in session is Dec. 10 and the NDAA will have to be ready in some form by then.
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