Thursday, 14 March 2019
Washington, DC: More than one-quarter of US House members have signed on to newly introduced legislation to facilitate greater access to banking for state-licensed cannabis operators.
The 2019 version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced last Thursday and now has 113 co-sponsors — the most ever for a marijuana law reform bill.
Under federal law, banks and other financial institutions are discouraged from entering into relationships with marijuana-specific businesses. This has led to the industry operating on a largely ‘cash-only’ basis.
Last month, members of the US House, Consumer Protection and Financial Institution Subcommittee heard testimony in favor of federal banking reform. NORML submitted testimony to the Committee, opining: “In short, no industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and it is self-evident that this industry, and those consumers that are served by it, will remain severely hampered without better access to credit and financing. Ultimately, Congress must amend federal policy so that these growing numbers of state-compliant businesses, and those millions of Americans who patronize them, are no longer subject to policies that needlessly place them in harm’s way.”
The SAFE Banking Act is one of several marijuana-related bills introduced in Congress in recent days. Other legislation includes The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019, The Marijuana Justice Act, The Next Step Act, and The Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019.
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500, or visit NORML’s Legislative Action Center.