The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday again approved the SAFE Banking Act which would allow banks to work with cannabis firms without fear of penalty, Bloomberg reports. It marks the second time this year—and the fifth time since 2019—that the chamber has approved the legislation, which has yet to be considered in the Senate.
Prior to the House vote, U.S. Cannabis Council Chief Executive Steven Hawkins noted that most of the legal cannabis industry’s 2020 transactions—more than $17 billion—were cash sales.
“Forcing legitimate, well-regulated cannabis businesses to conduct most of their business in cash is anachronistic and a clear threat to public safety.”—Hawkins via Bloomberg
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said that allowing the industry access to normal banking services would drive money into the economy and offer good-paying jobs.
#SAFEBanking will strengthen the security of our financial system & keep bad actors like cartels out.
Most importantly, it will reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities.
It’s passed the House 5 times. We cannot wait any longer to address this public safety threat. https://t.co/inwnn6ouR1
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) September 22, 2021
“[The SAFE Banking Act] will strengthen the security of our financial system & keep bad actors like cartels out,” he wrote on Twitter following the bill’s passage on a voice vote. “Most importantly, it will reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities. It’s passed the House 5 times. We cannot wait any longer to address this public safety threat.”
While technically controlled by Democrats, the Senate is split 50-50 between the parties and the legislation would require support from either some Republicans or conservative Democrats in order to pass the chamber.
In the Senate, the bill is in the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
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