House-passed SAFE Banking Act Would End Federal Threat to Banks Dealing with Legal Cannabis Businesses

The House has passed a bill allowing banks to do business with cannabis companies, the SAFE Banking Act. While Senate action on the bill remains uncertain, CEI experts praised lawmakers who voted to allow legalized businesses to gain access to vital financial services.

Statement by Michelle Minton, CEI Senior Fellow:

“The House passing the SAFE Banking Act is a good first step that will protect businesses and workers in states that chose to legalize cannabis companies. Now, both sides of Congress need to work together to fully decriminalize cannabis at the federal level and begin undoing the harms caused by prohibition.’

Statement by John Berlau, CEI Senior Fellow:

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the U.S. House’s bipartisan passage of the SAFE Banking Act. We have long supported such legislation to prevent federal banking regulators from punishing banks and credit unions that deal with marijuana-related businesses following the laws of the states in which they operate. The Senate should swiftly pass this legislation – vital for entrepreneurs, employees, investors, and consumers of the growing legal marijuana industry – and send to President Biden for his signature.

CEI believes that the federal government should neither discourage nor encourage banks and credit unions in dealing with legal industries, whether marijuana, guns, or oil and gas. In all transactions involving controversial but legal industries, individual financial firms should be allowed to make their own assessments of reputational risks.”

Related: Congress can fix legal marijuana business banking problem