Bipartisan Cannabis Business Banking Bill Goes to House Committee

On Tuesday, March 26th, the House Financial Service Committee will take up, debate and vote on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, a bi-partisan bill addressing the cannabis industry’s banking crisis. A yes vote on the SAFE Act would represent a crucial milestone in federal marijuana policy and pave the way for major financial institutions to work with legal cannabis businesses. But just days ahead of the committee markup, a key sponsor of the bill moved to add provisions that would help to further diversity and inclusion across the industry.

Passage of the SAFE Banking Act Would Clear a Major Roadblock to Cannabis Industry Growth

For years, federal legislators on both sides of the aisle have tried to pass laws to protect banks who do businesses with state-legal cannabis companies. Without those protections, federally regulated financial institutions have largely refused to provide services to cannabis industry participants. Since federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, banks who work with cannabis businesses are vulnerable to federal prosecution.

But under the SAFE Banking Act, the federal government would no longer consider proceeds from cannabis and cannabis-related business transactions as proceeds from unlawful activity. And that means that banks

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