The bi-partisan SAFE Banking Act, which carries 138 cosponsors, was discussed by the committee last month. The proposal calls on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to issue “uniform guidance and examination procedures for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses,” according to the report.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who chairs the Financial Services Committee, is one of the bill’s sponsors. The markup session is expected for 2:00 p.m. EST and will be live streamed. It will be the first Congressional cannabis vote of 2019.
In a statement, Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, noted the “unprecedented support” in the Democratic-led House.
“The fact that the SAFE Banking Act … is getting the serious consideration of a markup is a huge step in the right direction for the safety and transparency of the legal cannabis industry. We urge every member of Congress to support this legislation and help ease the unfair burdens facing cannabis businesses, their employees, regulators, and law enforcement due to current federal banking restrictions.” – Smith, in a press release
The measure would prevent federal regulators from punishing banks who work with cannabis-related businesses that are working within state laws. It would prevent them from limiting access to the Deposit Insurance Fund and protect ancillary businesses that work with cannabis businesses from being charged with money laundering and other financial crimes.
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