The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the law Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would allow banking and financial firms to work with state-legal cannabis companies, for the sixth time.
The legislation had been incorporated as an amendment to the Innovation Bill America COMPETES. The text had already been approved as a standalone bill as recently as last April, and as part of the 2022 Defense Spending Bill, but it was omitted from the final version of the law.
Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a statement that “cannabis businesses – large and small – and their employees desperately need access to banking and capital to operate effectively. safe and competitive in the growing global cannabis market. »
The amendment was also sponsored by Democratic Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez, Barbara Lee, and Earl Blumenauer, as well as Republican Representatives Warren Davidson and David Joyce. The amendment was approved by 262 votes to 168.
The approval of the amendment was also welcomed by the President of the Credit Union National Association, Jim Nussle, who said the text “addresses an important issue of public safety by allowing legal businesses access to financial services”.
The proposal has yet to survive the conference process between the House and Senate. Some upper house lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, have said they may not support the amendment. They would rather enact broader reforms related to federal cannabis laws.
The bill has 180 co-sponsors, including 26 Republicans, but Perlmutter and Joyce said they would continue to push for the bill’s passage, including as an amendment to other laws slated for passage. .