Cannabis stocks rallied across the board in premarket trade Tuesday, with the Cannabis ETF up 4.6%, after theHouse voted 321 to 101 in favor of a bill that would protect banks that do business with companies in states that have legalized the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes from federal enforcement action. The so-called SAFE Banking Act — SAFE stands for Secure and Fair Enforcement — aims to open up the federally insured banking system to cannabis companies, that have been starved of capital and forced to do much of their business in cash. The bill would exempt cannabis business transactions from being considered proceeds from illegal activity and subject to anti-money-laundering laws. It would also prohibit banking regulators from asking banks to terminate a customer account unless there was a valid reason aside from reputation risk. The bill last passed the House in 2019, only to die in the Senate. Its fate this time around in the Senate now under Democratic control is still unclear. Premarket gainers were mostly Canadian companies, even though with the exception of Canopy Growth Corp. , they are not expected to immediately benefit from U.S. cannabis law reforms. Tilray Inc. was up 3.8%, Aphria Inc. , with which it is merging, was up 2.2%. Canopy was up 1.6% and Cronos Group Inc. was up 1.2%. Shares of U.S. multistate operators were not yet active.
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