Bipartisan group urges Congress to allow federal banking for cannabis businesses

Twitter icon

A group of 38 attorneys general from 33 states and five territories has submitted a letter to Congress earlier this week urging them to advance a bill to allow marijuana businesses access to federal banking system.

The bill is called the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or the SAFE Banking Act and it would protect banks that cater to the legal marijuana industry. Currently, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level making it almost impossible for cannabis businesses in states where the plant is legal to find secure banking.

“Our banking system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states and territories, with state and territorial input, while protecting the interests of the federal government,” the Attorneys General wrote in the letter. “This includes a banking system for marijuana-related businesses that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy.”

The group believes and enforces the notion that approval of the new bill would bring billions of dollars to American banks.  

“The resulting grey market makes it more difficult to track revenues for taxation and regulatory compliance purposes, contributes to a public safety threat as cash-intensive businesses are often targets for criminal activity, and prevents proper tracking of billions in finances across the nation,” the letter reads.

The SAFE Banking Act was first introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter from Colorado in March. It now has 175 bipartisan House co-sponsors and received a 45-15 vote in favor of the bill by the House Financial Committee. It is now waiting to be approved by the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

The Attorneys general also acknowledged that although they believe this is a necessary move for the country and cannabis businesses, they are not endorsing legal cannabis.

“But regardless of how individual policymakers feels about states permitting the use of medical or recreational marijuana, the reality of the situation requires federal rules that permit a sensible banking regime for legal businesses.”

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Regional Marijuana News: