US cannabis industry’s big problem: Too much cash


Matthew Hatcher/Reuters

Marijuana can be sold legally in 36 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) for medical use and in 15 of them and in DC for recreational purposes. But it is still illegal on a federal level, meaning most banks refuse to service the industry in case they fall afoul of money laundering laws…

With the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing legalisation driving a surge in cannabis use, the sector’s producers, manufacturers and retailers are awash in cash, adding risk and costs to the most basic business transactions from paying employees and filing taxes to finding somewhere to store their income…

Legal US cannabis sales grew 30 percent to $22bn last year, more than the $17.5bn Americans spent on wine, according to data from Euromonitor. Sales are expected to jump more than 20 percent this year…

The House of Representatives passed a bill in April that would allow cannabis firms to have bank accounts, get loans and accept credit card payments but it may not make it to the Senate because Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to work instead towards lifting the federal ban on cannabis.

A full federal green light is the industry’s ultimate goal but it is not counting on Schumer’s pledge to make it happen by next year.

Ah, yes. Several solutions are at hand. All that is needed is decision, a vote, and implementation by Congress. And our politicians are so good at getting that part done, eh?

Conservative Creeps try once again to ban end-to-end encryption


Most overused tent-peg mallet in Congress

A group of Republican senators are making yet another attempt to ban end-to-end encryption in messaging services, which would make illegal Apple’s Messages and FaceTime services, as well as a wide range of other message apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.

No surprise, either, that they are again demonstrating that they don’t understand how end-to-end encryption works…

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham…and U.S. Senators Tom Cotton…and Marsha Blackburn…introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, a bill to bolster national security interests and better protect communities across the country by ending the use of “warrant-proof” encrypted technology by terrorists and other bad actors to conceal illicit behavior…”

Service providers – don’t provide access to end-to-end encrypted messages because they can’t. That is, literally, the whole point of end-to-end encryption: it protects privacy by ensuring that only the parties involved in the communication can decrypt the contents…

I wonder sometimes why these idjits haven’t gotten round to attempting to ban, say, flashlights or even more new-fangled tech, like cameras. They can all be used by someone, somehow, to break laws.

True Believers of Trump Will Accept That None of These Things Ever Happened

❝ I believe President Trump when he says “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ ” I believe him even though Britain’s Sun newspaper published an interview with Trump the day before in which he referred to the Duchess of Sussex with that very word — and even though the Sun has a recording.

❝ Likewise, I believed Trump when he visited Britain last year and said “I didn’t criticize the prime minister” – even though the Sun also had a recorded interview of him that time, criticizing Prime Minister Theresa May.

❝ And I am fully prepared to believe Trump tomorrow if he says “I never called Sadiq Khan a ‘stone cold loser’ ” — even though Trump, landing in Britain on Monday, called the London mayor just that in a tweet that misspelled Khan’s name and also mocked him for being short.

❝ I believe all this and more because the alternative is unthinkable: that our great nation inflicted on the world a president who is, well, a stone cold loser, boorish and ignorant.

And, then, what does that make the Americans who really do believe this crap?