Banking Security, Veteran Medical Access, and Other Internally Approved Cannabis Amendments Under the National Defense Act

Following Wednesday Approval from the house of two psychedelic research amendments, another bundle of bills, including banking services and veterans access were approved, bringing the total to nine drug policy measures passed in the chamber as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.

An amendment by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) which advocates and stakeholders have been watching closely contains the language of Safe and Fair Banking (SAFE) Actreported Marijuana Moment, which would protect financial institutions that provide services to state legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.

Perlmutter discussed the measure in the Rules Committee earlier in the week, Marijuana Moment noted, arguing that it was relevant to the must-have defense bill because it would help combat international drug trafficking, a risk to national security. Although the House passed the amendment as part of last year’s NDAA, the Senate rejected it.

Perlmutter had pushed for cannabis banking reform included in a large-scale manufacturing bill also to no avail, which apparently convinced him to try a different route.

Another approved bipartisan amendment

Earl Blumenauer Representatives (D-OR) and Brian Mast (R-FL) ​​​​​amendment codifying the ability of Veterans Administration physicians to discuss and issue recommendations on medical cannabis to veterans also passed the House.

In a missive shared with Marijuana Moment, Blumenauer and Mast discussed the significant therapeutic potential of cannabis for veterans with PTSD and argued that the VA’s current policy prohibiting doctors from making recommendations compels veterans to seek treatment outside of the VA.

“VA physicians should not be denied the opportunity to offer a recommendation that they believe can meet the needs of their patients,” they wrote. “Veterans should not be forced out of the VA system to seek legal treatment in their state.”

Perlmutter tweeted the following about the SAFE Banking Amendment.