Uber and the office of Colorado’s governor are among those who’ve disclosed federal lobbying on marijuana reform legislation this past quarter, newly released reports show.
Meanwhile, Amazon, American Express, pharmaceutical companies, labor unions, cannabis businesses, prohibitionist organizations and others have also continued to put pressure on Congress over various marijuana-related proposals, according to the 2023 4th quarter reports that were filed with the Senate and House of Representatives as required by law.
This appears to be the first time that the ride-sharing and delivery service company Uber Technologies has become involved in federal marijuana lobbying, with a report filed on Monday showing expenses related to advocacy around the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act that has advanced in the Senate, as well as its House counterpart.
The legislation, which cleared a Senate committee last September and is pending floor action, would prevent federal regulators from penalizing financial institutions simply for working with state-licensed cannabis businesses. The lobbying report doesn’t say where Uber stands on the proposal, but the company has historically embraced the marijuana industry, providing cannabis delivery services in Canada post-legalization, for example. Its CEO has also expressed openness to expanding its offerings to include marijuana delivery if U.S. federal law changes.
But the lobbying report disclosure simply lists the cannabis banking bill as a focus, indicating that the business feels the potential incremental policy change could have key implications for the company, regardless of the fact that marijuana would remain federally prohibited if it was enacted. Marijuana Moment reached out to Uber for comment, but a representative did not respond by the time of publication.
Meanwhile, the office of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) also reported lobbying expenses related to his office’s cannabis policy reform advocacy in Congress.
“Track and report on cannabis scheduling developments, including facilitating a Governor-led letter urging cannabis re-scheduling to Schedule III,” a description of the lobbying activity says, referencing a letter Polis sent alongside five other governors last month, imploring the Biden administration to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by the year’s end.
Here are other notable federal lobbying clients on marijuana issues who reported activity this past quarter:
“Discussions in support of the establishment of a comprehensive federal regulatory framework for cannabis.
Discussions concerning federal appropriations policy related to Food and Drug Administration clarity on CBD.”
“Issues related to…cannabis reform, including the States Reform Act (H.R. 5977) and the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (S. 4591).”
American Bankers Association (ABA)
“S. 2860, Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act.”
American Bar Association
“S.2860, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, or the SAFER Banking Act – a bill would allow financial institutions to provide legally-operating cannabis businesses access to critical banking services – including bank accounts, credit cards, and checks – without fear of retribution by federal regulators.”
“S. 1323/HR 2891, the SAFE Banking Act of 2023, provisions related to cannabis banking.”
Americans for Prosperity (AFP)
“S. 1323: SAFE Banking Act of 2023 – provisions related to cannabis industry banking.
S. 2860: SAFER Banking Act – provisions related to cannabis industry banking.”
“Issues related to the Safe Banking Act.”
“Issues related to S.2860/H.R. 2891 The Safer Banking Act.”
“Issues related to the regulation of cannabis and CBD.
Research and development of cannabis-derived therapies.
SAFE Banking Act 2023.”
“Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana Act – H.R. 2984 / S. 1359.
Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2023 – S. 1323/H.R. 2891.”
“Issues related to…cannabis-related banking.”
National Beer Wholesalers Association
“H.R. 2891, the SAFE Banking Act of 2023; issues related to legal banking and effective regulation for cannabis products.
S. 2860, the SAFER Banking Act; issues related to legal banking and effective regulation for cannabis products.”
National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR)
“Reforming federal law and policy governing medical research, financial transactions, and tax deductions applicable to cannabis and allowing states and territories to set and enforce their own laws governing cannabis use, including the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act; the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (CLIMB) Act (H.R. 8200); the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act (H.R. 3105); and the States Reform Act (H.R. 5977).”
National Sheriff’s Association
“SAFE Banking Act”
“Support the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, which would increase access to medical cannabis for veterans and protect them from discrimination for their lawful cannabis use.
Support S. 2860, the Secure And Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act
Support HR 5040, the Cannabis Users Restoration of Eligibility (CURE) Act.
Support the Veterans Equal Access Act, which would expand and facilitate medical cannabis access to military veterans suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, and other serious medical conditions by allowing physicians affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend cannabis in compliance with state laws.”
“S. 2860, Secure And Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, all provisions.”
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)/ SAM Action
“Issues related to STATES Act to legalize marijuana; Appropriations amendments related to marijuana legalization; and criminal justice reform related to marijuana.
Issues related to SAFE Banking Act regarding marijuana banking and investment.
The effects of marijuana on children and the nexus between marijuana and psychosis.
Safety issues surrounding marijuana. Marketing of high potency marijuana products to children.
Federal role in marijuana laws; the legalization of marijuana; and criminal justice reform.”
“Provide guidance and strategic counsel on legislation/regulations, including the SAFE Banking Act and SAFER Banking Act, and/or appropriations that may impact the Company.”
“S. 2860 – SAFER Banking Act.”
“Banking policy and regulation; medical marijuana policy and regulation.”
U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC)
Again, reporting lobbying activity on the specific bills or general policy issues does not indicate support, opposition or neutrality, nor does it indicate how much money an entity spent lobbying on the cannabis-specific issue in comparison to other issues it also disclosed advocacy around. But the latest filings do show an outsized interest in the marijuana banking legislation that advocates and stakeholders are hoping to see enacted in this second half of the 118th Congress.
Late last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said lawmakers will “hit the ground running” in 2024, aiming to build on bipartisan progress on several key issues, including marijuana banking reform—though he noted it “won’t be easy.”
Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.