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Karen Neoh

House Plans SAFE Banking Act Vote by Month’s End

Democratic leaders in the House intend for a full floor vote on the SAFE Banking Act by the end of September; lawmakers in the Senate, meanwhile, could likewise consider the bill — or their own version of the bill — by the year’s end.

 

Full story after the jump.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) is planning to put the SAFE Banking Act up for a full floor vote this month, Politico reports. The bill would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to access financial services.

According to the report, Hoyer shared the plan with his colleagues at a whip meeting on Sunday and, while he has not scheduled a vote, House Democratic aides told Politico that they expect it to hit the floor the week of Sept. 23.

In May, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), indicated he would block the bill from making it to the Senate floor for a vote but told Politico last week that he hoped the Republican-led chamber would hold a vote on the issue before year’s end; however, he left the door open as to which bill would be voted on. Crapo suggested that Senate Republicans could write their own bill to replace the bipartisan measure introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) or amend the House version, which passed the House Financial Services Committee in March.

“We’re working to try to get a bill ready. I’m looking to see whether we can thread the needle.” – Crapo, to Politico

The American Bankers Association supports the measure and in an update last week called on their members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to pass the measure.

If approved, the SAFE Banking Act would be a huge boon to cannabis companies, who would no longer need to rely heavily on cash. It would also mark the first time that Congress has given approval to a measure protecting state-approved cannabis companies. Previously, protections have been included omnibus packages but not voted on individually.

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