Ein wirklich guter Beitrag zum Ablauf in der US Politik bezüglich Legalisierung resp. der "comprehensive bill" die der Schumer Vorschlagen will:
Over the last few weeks I've read endless misguided or misunderstood takes on the process in front of the US House of Representatives, Senate and White House regarding the various legislative avenues, possibilities and processes for the cannabis industry.
After yesterday's meltdowns over a lack of 4/20 legislative action and a commentary by Sen. Majority Leader on the House passed Safe Banking bill I decided I wanted to share what I know from my experience in politics.
RESUME: I spent 7 years working at the House of Representatives for an Appropriations Chairman. During that time I assisted in the crafting of legislation, worked with industry leaders to include important elements to each bill, and assisted in the political whipping to ensure there was internal support in the Democratic Caucus. These bills included efforts related to the pharmaceutical industry.
Portfolio Disclosure: I am long several MSOs and am in the Red in many of them as I entered more and more this spring. In other words - I feel the pain too but am still very bullish and long.
Introduction: Generally speaking the process for creating legislation, passing it through the chambers and getting them the necessary votes to advance toward law is the same all the time. However, every single action taken by the Senate, House and White House is seen through the lens of politics. As such a very popular bill may never see the light of day for reasons that have nothing to do with the content. Additionally, the legislative process is operated by individuals who have their own agenda and represent states or political parties that may represent outdated or outlier positions - but their power makes them uniquely able to stop or slow progress.
It is critical to bear in mind that in the U.S. Senate only 1 member needs to threaten filibuster against any law and it comes to a screeching halt. This may be the Junior Member from Nebraska or the Majority Leader (read: Mitch McConnell) - it does not matter. As such we all must understand how delicate this process is. Anyone who tells you something will happen before it happens is not being honest.
House vs. Senate: The two chambers work independently of each other most of the time. Of course they do stay in contact on certain issues and are seldom unaware of what the other chamber is doing, however each feels their own agenda is the more important. The truth is the Senate is a more difficult chamber to pass legislation through and as such whatever can pass in the Senate is usually seen as the vehicle for the law. This is also only true when both chambers are of the same party. Currently Speaker Pelosi is working with Sen. Schumer on the legislative agenda and represents a productive relationship. Last Congress with a GOP Senate and DEM House this was not the case. So it is critical that any Cannabis related legislation be written and managed by the Senate if it has any chance of passing. When the House passes a bill (such as HR1996 Safe Banking) it represents a gesture and provides the Senate with language they know can pass in the House.
**A critical note on the legislative calendar and process: The U.S. Senate passes far fewer bills than the House of Representatives each session. The House often passes laws that are more radical (left or right) and are often symbolic with no hope of becoming law. Sen. Schumer's comments on HR1996 were not to say that Safe Banking was not a priority for the Senate, nor was it a declaration that Safe Banking language would not be in the Senate Bill. Instead he was referring to the concern that if the Senate were to vote on HR1996 it may very well pass, but that would be the only Cannabis bill to pass. He is using Safe Banking as one component of the final bill as a way to increase the attractiveness of the complete package to Senators who might otherwise not support it.
Committees or Where the Action Really Happens: We're all familiar with the final vote on the floor concept, but what happens before that? Committees. The Senate and House have parallel committees (though they are not labeled the same and sometimes have different jurisdictions). For example the House Bill HR1966 came from the "House Committee on Financial Services; Judiciary" while it's cousin next door is the "Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs". Committees are where laws go once they've been introduced. NOTE: This means that a member that is not on the relevant committee can be the author of the bill. They create the legislation (sometimes over years) and present it to the office of the Majority Leader/Speaker -- the legislation may, at this point, sit indefinitely or it may be assigned to a committee. In other words, a Senator or Member who is a champion of cannabis may lead the issue for years but they are not necessarily involved in the committee discussion, amendments or voting - which means they do not have the power to oversee their "baby" during that part of the process. That being said, often legislation leadership is by members of relevant committees because lobbyists target the committee members to educate, advocate and lobby their agenda toward. One last point: the Senate Banking committee already has the Safe Banking Law in their hands. S.910 is the current Senate Bill and no one needs to introduce it. This is why Sen. Brown has commented that Safe Banking won't move unless there is a broader bill first. He is not against passing SAFE. He understands that SAFE must be a part of the bigger bill if there is any chance the broader bill passes.
SENATE PROCESS or Milestones to Celebrate Cautiously: So now that we know the US Senate will take the lead we should try to understand what we're watching and what the process is. As mentioned above there is already language that accomplishes SAFE BANKING in a Senate Committee. What we are missing is the introduction of a complete/comprehensive cannabis bill.
MILESTONE 1 - Introduction: This is not an easy or simple process - for those of you who are frustrated that Sen. Schumer talked about decriminalization etc. in January but has not announced a bill please understand that the process is very complicated. They are writing laws, not tweets! This is critical to understand. To develop a concept from ideas regarding various issues (criminal justice reform, exchange listings, tax code, drug scheduling, etc.) to appropriate legal language that can become real US Statutes takes time and details.
There are many lawyers and legislative experts who work for these committees who ensure that every line is accurate. Take a look at the Senate Bill here. It's 30 pages long and likely 1/5 of what a comprehensive bill will look like. Every line, every section, every piece needs to be authorized and complete. If not the bill could be the subject to lawsuits and eventually struck down by courts.
Beyond the legal necessity for clarity and thoroughness is the politics. Once you've introduced your bill it's OUT THERE. The process (described below) allows for amendments and debate, but if you've introduced a bill that does not have the necessary support before introduction then you are unlikely to pass it into law. What this means is that Sen. Schumer and other leaders are likely shopping around parts of the legislation behind the scenes. They are talking to members of the left and right about what they can support, what they need to make the law passable and if they are willing to allow it to come to the floor for a vote even if they are against it (read: filibuster).
It is possible Sen. Schumer had the general layout of the bill done in January, spent February and March working with agencies, the White House, and industry leaders (including MSOs, yes!) to develop the "right" bill - and has spent the last several weeks (and weeks to come) talking to members trying to get to 51 votes (or 60).
Conclusion: On the day we see the long awaited bill introduced we should all be very happy. It has many hurdles in front of it - but should we see introduced legislation that includes the language we want we can feel moderately confident that Sen. Schumer has the votes for it and that he has the White House's implicit backing.
MILESTONE 2 - Committee Passage: As mentioned above once the bill is introduced it goes to a committee. Depending on what is the most dominant component of the bill it may go to Banking or another committee. The Committee Chair may schedule hearings. If this occurs then there may come a day when we watch CSPAN to see members defend the bill and others argue against it. We may see "experts" talking about addiction and gateway drugs. This will be frustrating.
However, this milestone is a much lower hurdle because the Committees are already set with majority Democrats. Schumer's bill will already be supported by the Committee Chair and their respective majority so this will likely be for show and to give the minority a chance to be heard. I also do not expect hearings but expect there to be a day when the bill is introduced, amendments are floated and votes are taken. Do not expect many amendments to be accepted or approved unless there are serious issues that have not been foreseen and the Committee (Schumer) wants to see the bill advanced and made beter.
Conclusion: If the bill is introduced and heard by the committee expect it to be passed.
Milestone 3 - Floor Vote: This is, in my opinion, the second biggest hurdle behind introduction. Schumer likely will have done the whip count early on before introduction to ensure there is support, however things can always change. Also if he has a slim majority or unclear majority he may opt to take the gamble and put the bill to a vote. This is often done to see if opposition is bluffing or to allow for the public discourse to effect the final vote. This is a risky move but if he has no other choice it may occur.
50 or 60: When in the early stages of developing the bill Schumer will try to get as many YEAs as possible. There are certainly GOP members who support cannabis and may support parts of the final bill. Will they support the bill in its entirety is uncertain. What we do know is that there are two options for the opposition: (1) allow a floor vote and vote no, (2) filibuster and not allow a vote at all. This is difficult because the filibuster literally allows 1 Senator to stop the entire process. Imagine you are a GOP member from Florida. You do not want to be on the record FOR decriminalization to upset your base, but you also do not want to be on the record against it and lose support from the majority who want this passed. By filibustering you can avoid making the choice altogether. Terrible? Yes. But a real component of our discussion.
Because of the above possibility Sen. Schumer may very well need 60 votes. This may be part of why the introduction is taking so long - he needs to massage the bill's language into the perfect shape to appease very diverse Senators.
Conclusion: If the bill is voted on in the Senate, avoids filibuster and is passed then we should all be very very excited. My analysis is that this is the last big hurdle. Why? Read on...
Milestone 4 - House and White House: I'm very confident about these next two steps - so much so that I put them into just one milestone. The House of Representatives is a Democratic Majority this session and we've already seen the GOP support of Safe Banking. While we might lose from GOP with the expanded law, this will be unanimously or nearly unanimously supported by the Democrats. I expect the House to Pass the Senate Bill immediately.
The White House is not as big of an outlier as you may think. Yes, President Biden's administration has already disappointed us with (1) firing staff who used cannabis in the past, (2) moving backward on campaign promises, (3) offering opaque language around this issue. I think the truth is the President Biden is stuck in the old and no matter how much people argue against his position he simply cannot adjust his frame of mind. That said, I think he understands that his frame of mind is his own and it is not his place to use 1 man's perspective to push against the will of the US Senate and House. In other words, he will defer to the people.
In case you are concerned about the above analysis I'll explain it further. Once passed by the Senate and House the only option President Biden has is to VETO the bill. This truly will kill its chances of passage. There is not negotiation at this point, he cannot adjust one part of the bill. It's all or nothing.
President Biden's administration seems concerned about moderates and mild-conservatives regarding their opinion of his Presidency and Democratic Politicians in general. He is proving himself to be very good at the slow and conservative middle approach to politics, while passing much more progressive language. He clearly believes in the motto: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick.
Once the bill is in front of him he can sign it and promote its passing as a victory for the American people and a clear sign that elections matter. He can simultaneously talk in a conservative tone but allow the Senate to do the dirty work to create the final law. MOST PEOPLE WILL NOT KNOW WHAT THE BILL REALLY DOES. And most Americans will be "onto the next thing" by dinner.
Conclusion: If Schumer introduces the bill we can feel mildly confident he has a path forward. If it passes the Senate we can feel very confident it will become law.
On all the public guessing: I hope the above has helped people understand the process and why this is not simple nor fast moving - yet we are closer than ever before. The dance is happening behind closed doors each week and no one has any sense of when we will see the first milestone take place. When you get excited because people talk about 4/20, or they see a TWEET from Schumer talking about "soon" we must temper the excitement. Schumer is not tweeting to annoy us or tease us, but as part of a strategy to (1) ensure his base knows it is happening, and (2) poke the public to see how we react. He will need our support if they face a filibuster and need 60 votes.
Final Thoughts: As an MSO stock holder I clearly want to see uplisting and 280e reform because, well, that's my path to seeing my portfolio grow. But please understand this very important thing: Sen. Schumer, Booker, Brown... President Biden ... They don't care about your portfolio.
They are not writing a bill to make you rich. Yes they understand that the OTC markets and restrained capital effect the US Cannabis industry and should be amended. But they want that changed so that these companies can support tax revenues that can be guided toward programs to help the communities devastated by the war on drugs.
They want to provide pathways for Black and Brown citizens to benefit from the growth of the US Cannabis industry because that is justice. They want to expunge records and decriminalize the plant so that people do not lose their jobs and lives over something enjoyed by millions "legally" in the US.
They want to make this a process that aims to undo a century of racist oriented prohibition and provides opportunities to turn a historic failure into the promise of the next generation.
They are not sitting in a room focused on uplisting so our MSO stocks can double. **Yes that will likely happen. We will benefit from the eventual bill's passage. But we should try to remain humble and aware that our opportunity to invest in this companies at a moment when the market is asymmetrical only exists because of decades of laws that hurt millions of people and unjustly incarcerated black and brown citizens disproportionately.
Hier noch ein paar Fragen "jeweils in Anführungszeichen" die der Verfasser beantwortet hat:
"So just to be clear, you believe that SAFE will not be brought to a floor vote on it's own and will be lumped in with the broader reform? "
I believe that the language in the Safe Banking Act will be included in the comprehensive bill. This much has been said by Senate Leadership. I do not expect there to ever be a floor vote on S.910. There will be one bill on the issue of cannabis passed by the US Senate this session.
"Do you think that it's possible Schumer introduces a bill he knows will not pass with R's in order to use as ammo in the mid terms?"
2) Remember there needs to be a vote for this to be used as a political weapon. While it makes sense that if, for example, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) voted against a cannabis bill it could be used against him in an election in Florida -- the GOP would never let this bill go to a floor vote. The filibuster is the perfect way to avoid controversial votes.
Additionally, the filibuster can be anonymous so there is no way to point blame at a party or individual Senators.
This is why I believe that Schumer will not introduce a bill unless he believes it can move. This might mean that he waits until Filibuster Reform is accomplished (which is not a certainty either). But this is also why I believe introduction is a big milestone - it shows a likelihood of passage.
"Yesterday an article from politico came out suggesting 2 D Senators from NY will not be supporting Schumer's bill"
3) First to clarify the 2 Democrats who were quotes were from New Hampshire and Montana, not NY. (Schumer is the Senior Senator from NY). I'd encourage everyone to take articles with a grain of salt. First, POLITICO is known inside the beltway for being a bit cavalier with their reporting. It's a good source of information, but please always recognize there are angles and agenda to every media outlet.
That said, the article was focused on two Senators answering questions about "legalization of Cannabis" which, as we all know, is not the content or purpose of the bill being considered. The White House is doing the same thing, by saying "We are against legalization" they can still be for "Descheduling" the drug or other various adjustments that accomplish the same thing.
When you work on the Hill you notice the pattern all-the-time. Members answer reporters broad questions with broad answers. As legislation becomes more clear and decisions are made to vote for or against they develop talking points and answers that are "crafted" to address the issue without addressing the issue.
There are many steps from today to passage - but I would not be surprised to see both of these quoted Senators voting in favor of the final bill. And when that day comes be sure to look up their Press Release and read the careful wording!
"If this cannot be done do you think SAFE will be introduced as a last resort"
4) This is an excellent question of strategy. I certainly do not know what Sen. Schumer would answer and at the moment expect he is not considering PLAN B options. That said, if they truly cannot get the votes for comprehensive reform this term and have the votes for SAFE BANKING they may very well move it by itself.
That said there is a good reason (unfortunately) for them to hold off. If they believe that Safe Banking gets them a few more votes on Comprehensive Reform they will want to hold onto it.
Imagine the current whip count is:
SAFE BANKING: 65 YEA, 35 NAY -- no filibuster threat.
COMPREHENSIVE With S.B.: 57 YEA, 43 NAY - yes filibuster
COMPREHENSIVE Without S.B.: 50 YEA, 50 NAY - yes filibuster
In this scenario Schumer may roll the dice to see if the Dems can get 3 more seats in the next election and then pass Comprehensive w/ S.B. Without safe banking, in the above example, they would not be able to.
Ich texte das Ganze aufgrund des Zeitaufwands nicht in deutsch um aber wenn jemand spezifisch etwas nicht versteht soll er einfach fragen.
Sen. Schumer, Booker, Brown... President Biden ... They don't care about your portfolio
...heute mal ein solider Ausklang der Märkte...nach Bidens gestrigen Steuerplänen hat sich offenbar der erste Schock gelegt,nachdem die meisten Anleger realisiert haben,dass nur Einkommen ab 1 Mio$ betroffen wären?...und darüber hinaus es sehr unwahrscheinlich ist,dass Biden seine Pläne durch den Senat bringen wird...das würde immerhin bedeuten,dass Großverdiener in einigen Bundesstaaten wie New York,Californien,etc. unter Einbetiehung aller Bundessteuern mit Abgaben von bis zu 56% rechnen müssten...das entspräche fast einer Verdoppelung der aktuellen Steuerabgaben...das drücken die Demokraten nicht durch...anyway...aktuell macht die Biden Regierung für meinen Geschmack in zu kurzer Zeit zu viele Baustellen und Fässer auf...wirkt etwas hektisch...beim Cannamarkt ist heute das extrem niedrige Volumen auffällig,das bei den meisten Werten gerade mal bei ca.15% des durchschnittlichen Volumens liegt...da benötigt es weitere Impulse...aber wenn Momentum Aktien pausieren,pausieren meist alle Momentumsektoren und konsolidieren,bis sie wieder anspringen...alles eine Frage der Geduld.