This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2021 (SAFE Banking Act) in a bipartisan vote of 321-101. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
The SAFE Banking Act would create protections for financial institutions that provide financial services to state-legal cannabis businesses. Currently, most banks are unwilling to work with the cannabis industry because they fear federal prosecution. Passing this legislation would also help to promote equity in the cannabis industry by offering small and minority-owned businesses access to banks and regulated financial services.
Banking legislation previously cleared the House in September 2019. The language of the bill was also included in two rounds of COVID-19 relief packages that were approved by the House. The Senate version (S. 910) was reintroduced on March 23 by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) and currently has 32 cosponsors.
Passing the SAFE Banking Act is among MPP’s top federal priorities, and we’ll continue advocating for its success. We’ll keep you informed as the bill progresses through the Senate.
Happy 4/20 Eve!