Game Changer: Cannabis Banking Bill Heads to US Senate for Vote
The US House has once again passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. But this time, it will receive a vote in the Senate where it previously stalled under then majority leader Mitch McConnell.
The SAFE Banking Act would create a “safe harbor” for financial institutions that do business with legal cannabis companies nationwide. Banks would be free to do business with state legal cannabis entities like the many here in California without any legal repercussions. The law specifically states that proceeds from legitimate cannabis businesses would not be considered illegal. It directs federal regulators to craft regulations for cannabis banking activity.
Marijuana stocks soared upon the bill’s passage in the House. The vote was 321-101.
Cannabis’ illegal federal status has made banks weary to offer services. That makes it a cash-heavy industry by necessity. This poses all sorts of problems for state and local governments that have to collect tax and fee payments from cannabis businesses — usually by hand in the form of paper money. It also poses safety risks to customers and employees.