Competitive Enterprise Institute Policy Analyst Matthew Adams praised today’s passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act, H.R. 1595.) The SAFE Banking Act would provide safe harbor for financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses that operate in accordance with state laws.
“The House took a crucial step to help businesses and consumers in the legal marijuana industry by clarifying at least some of the ambiguity between federal and state law. The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks to offer depository and lending services to legal marijuana businesses – crucial services needed to ensure security and stability in the industry. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) should follow the lead of his colleagues and swiftly schedule the SAFE Banking Act for a committee vote in the coming weeks.”
Given the incongruity between state and federal law over the legality of marijuana, many banks have chosen to forgo offering any services to marijuana-related businesses out of fear of federal backlash. This forced many businesses to conduct operations in cash-only, inconvenient and a public safety risk for the businesses and their employees and communities.
Today’s bipartisan legislation was introduced by Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Denny Heck (D-WA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Warren Davidson (R-OH), and was passed 321 to 103. Accompanying legislation in the Senate has 33 cosponsors.