Magazine article American Banker

Strange Bedfellows: Trump Backs Warren's Pot Banking Bill

Magazine article American Banker

Strange Bedfellows: Trump Backs Warren's Pot Banking Bill

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil Haggerty

WASHINGTON--President Trump said Friday he would likely sign a bill co-authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would enable banks and credit unions to do business with cannabis-related companies in states where marijuana is legal.

Warren, one of the harshest critics of Trump and the banking industry, co-sponsored the legislation with Cory Gardner, R-Colo. The bill would exempt persons complying with state marijuana laws from the federal pot prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act.

"I really do, I support Senator Gardner," Trump told reporters Friday. "I know exactly what he's doing; we're looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes."

The bill likely won't pass the current Republican-controlled Congress, despite the fact that it only affects states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

"Despite the president's remarks, we don't see the White House fighting for this legislation," said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group. "As a result, we leave unchanged our 33% odds for action in this Congress and our 66% odds for action in next Congress."

Despite his strained relationship with Warren, Trump may want to close a deal on legislation that benefits financial institutions. The president may also be motivated by a desire to undermine Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has avidly opposed marijuana legalization, even at the state level. …

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