SAFE Banking Act

The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 passed the House of Representatives this past September with bipartisan support. This marked the furthest advancement of access to banking and financial services for cannabis related legitimate businesses. Though the bill passed by a vote of 321 to 103 in the House or Representatives, it appears to have stalled at Senate.

Where is the SAFE Banking Act Now?

The SAFE Banking Act (internally known as H.R. 1595), currently before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, is facing opposition from the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) expressed concern in a set of guidelines he released last month. The guidelines suggested changes to the bill including restrictions he would like contained in any cannabis banking bill that moves forward in the Senate.

These involved national health studies, studies on the effects of marijuana on children, additional provisions aimed at preventing federal level money laundering, and only allowing banks to work with businesses that produced cannabis products containing 2% THC or less.

SAFE Banking Act

(Yuri Gripas/REUTERS/Newscom)

The Need for Safe Cannabis Business Banking

While the stipulation on potency would disqualify the vast majority of legal cannabis businesses, the co-sponsors of the SAFE Banking Act did not address this in their public letter to Sen. Crapo sent earlier this week. Rather, United States Reps Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Steve Strivers (R-OH), Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), and Sen. Warren Davidson (R-OH) urged further consideration for banking for cannabis companies.

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The three noted they respect Sen. Crapo’s opposition to legalization federally and in Idaho, but remained firm that the bill is about public safety, taking cash off the streets and aligning federal banking laws with the decisions states are making about cannabis.

It also urged to exercise caution in making changes to the legislation’s safe harbor that could impose unworkable burdens on financial institutions, such as credit unions. The overall sentiment of the message was constructive and asked that they partner together to improve and advance the effort.

Other representatives, financial institutions and cannabis industry trade groups have also expressed urgency for the passage of the SAFE Banking Act. While the current opposition is a hindrance to the bill’s progress, support and advocacy continues to grow. Currently, 47 states have some form of legalized medical or recreational marijuana.

Contact a Cannabis Attorney for Banking Concerns

If you have any marijuana related business banking questions or concerns, please contact our team of experienced cannabis attorneys by filling out this form or calling our office at (248) 541-2600.

Kali Rose (14 Posts)

Kali is one of Cannabis Legal Group’s Paralegals. She began legal career at the Law Offices of Barton Morris and Cannabis Legal Group in 2017 as an Administrative Assistant. In July 2018, she was promoted to Paralegal at Cannabis Legal Group. She earned an Associate of Applied Science from Terra State Community College in Fremont, OH and holds background in communications and marketing. Kali is responsible for client relations, managing attorney calendars, and works to ensure research and document support are carried out effectively and efficiently for our cannabis clients.

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