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CBD News Roundup: SAFE Banking Act Included In House’s CARES 2.0 Bill

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Written by The CBD Insider

Here’s the latest CBD news:

  • The SAFE Banking Act will be included in CARES 2.0, the House’s second COVID-19 relief bill.
  • CBD sales are soaring in the UK amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBD News Stories

  1. SAFE Banking Act Included In House CARES II Bill
  2. UK Demand For CBD Products Soaring Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

SAFE Banking Act Included In House CARES 2.0 Bill

The US House of Representatives has included the SAFE Banking Act in its recently released CARES II COVID-19 relief bill. 

These provisions will help protect banks that service marijuana and CBD businesses from being penalized by federal regulators. The push for some form of cannabis reform to be included in COVID-19 legislation has been ongoing since the start of the pandemic.

The bill was fronted by chief sponsor, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).

The provision to the relief package states:

“The purpose of this section is to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers and reducing the amount of cash at such businesses.” 

The legislation in the banking section will:

“allow cannabis-related legitimate businesses, that in many states have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic as essential services, along with their service providers, to access banking services and products, as well as insurance.”

The SAFE Banking Act was passed in the House last fall. It set forth the legislative foundation to help cannabis businesses secure safe, affordable banking and merchant services. 

However, it has remained in legislative purgatory until it was included in the new relief bill.

Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said: “We commend the congressional leadership for prioritizing public health and safety by including sensible cannabis banking policy in this legislation.”

The bill was originally specific to marijuana, but grassroots lobbying led to the inclusion of CBD companies so they could access banks and credit cards as well. 

The bill’s impact on CBD businesses is outlined in sections 11 and 12 of the legislation’s text. 

The major takeaway is: 

“(1) confirming the legality of hemp, hemp-derived CBD products, and other hemp-derived cannabinoid products, and the legality of engaging in financial services with businesses selling hemp, hemp-derived CBD products, and other hemp-derived cannabinoid products, after the enactment of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; and (2) to provide recommended best practices for financial institutions to follow when providing financial services and merchant processing services to businesses involved in the sale of hemp, hemp-derived CBD products, and other hemp-derived cannabinoid products.”

The US Hemp Roundtable reacted positively to the announcement, urging advocates to help push the bill into law by writing their senators.

UK Demand For CBD Products Soaring Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

According to Alphagreen.io, the UK’s largest marketplace for certified CBD products, the demand for CBD products in the UK has reached new heights while the rest of the economy suffers.

The e-commerce platform’s study showed that more than 8 million Britons had purchased CBD products, spending over £150m ($181 million USD) over the first four months of 2020. 

This buying pace puts the British CBD market on pace to achieve £450m ($545 million USD) over the entire year. This would represent a 50 percent growth compared to 2019.

The research was commissioned when Alphagreen.io noticed an uptick in demand for CBD products beginning in March.

Regarding the results of the study, Alphagreen.io CEO, Alexej Pikovsky said: “The key here is that with people feeling anxious, having trouble sleeping and, in some cases, feeling let down by the traditional health system, they have looked for alternatives.”

The survey studied 5,000 adults and found that 8.4 million Britons had either already purchased CBD in 2020 or planned to do so. More than half said they had made their first CBD purchase within the past 12 months.

Pikovsky believes the surge is no flash in the pan but will sustain as Britons have become better informed about CBD products and what is available.

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