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Marijuana Lobbying Firm Apologies For ‘Misguided’ Letter Referencing ‘Chinese-Backed Investors’ In Push For Banking Bill Amendments

A major marijuana lobbying firm has apologized after sending a letter to Senate committee leadership concerning a bipartisan cannabis banking bill that contained “inappropriate” references to investments from China in a “misguided attempt” to push for amendments expanding the legislation.

The original letter that was sent to Senate Banking Committee leaders last week took some by surprise—in part because it advocated for a significant revision to free up all financial services to the cannabis industry, including representation on major U.S. stock exchanges. But controversy also swelled around its argument that the expanded reform is necessary in order to compete against an illicit market funded by “Chinese-backed investors.”

The language was read by some as racially inflammatory, playing into xenophobic concerns over China and Chinese people in a way that risked alienating Asian advocates in the community.

Now The Liaison Group (TLG), which led the letter on behalf of SAFE Banking for Equity, is walking it back and apologizing to the various organizations that were listed as signatories but which did not receive an opportunity to review the draft before it was sent.

“The Liaison Group acknowledges that language referencing ‘Chinese-backed investments’ was a misguided attempt and poor judgment,” the statement

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