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With bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was refiled this week.
On Wednesday, April 26th, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), along with Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), reintroduced a bill that would protect banks that work with legal cannabis businesses from penalization (1). Though it has never before been voted on by the Senate, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act has been passed by the House several times and now goes before the Senate Banking Committee (2).
“Let’s make 2023 the year that we get this bill signed into law so we can ensure that all legal cannabis businesses have access to the financial services they need to help keep their employees, their businesses, and their communities safe,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (2).
“It is past time that Congress addresses the irrational, unfair, and unsafe prohibition of basic banking services to state-legal cannabis businesses,” said Representative Earl Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus (1). “The House has passed the SAFE Banking Act on a bipartisan basis seven times. I am delighted that the Senate is joining us in making it a priority.”
Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp federally, legal hemp business have been able to work within the banking framework, but still experienced setbacks and challenges, allegedly due to the similarities between hemp and cannabis (2).
The day after the bill was filed, cannabis stocks reportedly rose with the news of the possibility of US banks opening to industry (2).