The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the SAFE Banking Act, which allows financial-service firms to work with “cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers,” providing protection from federal prosecution for banks in states that have legalized cannabis. The bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), has been sent to the Senate.

In its press release praising the bill’s passage, the National Cannabis Industry Association introduced a plan calling for “cannabis products, like other highly regulated consumables, to be regulated by the government agencies that currently regulate most food and drugs, primarily the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury.” Under the plan, “cannabis products would be divided into four categories, based on chemical components, safety, intended use, and consumption method. Each of these groups would be regulated through a separate regulatory ‘lane’ tailored to the public policy issues raised by that particular classification,” including (i) pharmaceutical drugs; (ii) ingested, inhaled or topically applied products with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); (iii) ingested or inhaled products with more 0.3% THC; and (iv) topically applied products with more than 0.3% THC.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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