Over a dozen cannabis industry and advocacy trade organizations have sent a letter to the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo requesting that he act speedily to advance the SAFE Banking Act, which would create a safe harbor for banking institutions trying to serve legal cannabis-related businesses in states where such activity is legalized.
Last year, the SAFE Banking Act was passed by a bipartisan majority in the House but has stalled in the Senate after Rep. Crapo voiced concerns about the bill leading to money laundering, American Bankers Association (ABA) reported.
“Our organizations continue to support SAFE because it is an initial legislative step that allows the legal cannabis industry into the banking system – ultimately protecting law-abiding financial institutions and ancillary services businesses from their untenable position and addressing increasing public safety concerns,” part of the ABA’s letter reads. “Additionally, the ongoing lack of a safe harbor for cannabis will continue to challenge the full adoption and deployment of the legal hemp and CBD products market in the U.S. due to the inextricable link between hemp and cannabis.”
The ABA understands that a complete federal regulatory framework for the cannabis industry is a multi-step process, but that the SAFE Banking Act is a vital first step to ensure that legally-operating cannabis businesses are safe and transparent.