The House Financial Services Committee on approved legislation that would allow banks to work with cannabis businesses in states where medical cannabis is legal.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was approved by the committee in a 45-15vote, sending the bill to the full House of Representatives.
The bill is expected to pass the full House, but it’s unclear if it will survive the US Senate.
Federal law prohibits banks from handling money associated with cannabis businesses.
Just voted to pass the SAFE Banking Act out of Cmte: 45 to 15—a historic level of bipartisan support to increase public safety relating to state-legal cannabis businesses. Proud my amendment passed unanimously and to continue the work of states like CA, CO, & WA leading the way.— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) March 28, 2019
Groups such as the American Bankers Association and Credit Union National Association have come out in support of the bill.
Legally-authorized cannabis businesses are forced to operate w/ cash only, which sometimes makes them targets for violent criminals. #HR1595, the #SAFEBankingAct will address this issue by creating a safe harbor that allows banks & credit unions to provide services to these biz.— Financial Svcs Cmte (@FSCDems) March 27, 2019
The Bill would:
- Require federal banking regulators to issue an annual report to Congress that contains data on the availability of financial services to minority- and women-owned cannabis businesses.
- Prevent federal banking regulators from punishing financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses that comply with state laws.