The SAFE Banking Act is up for a vote and, if passed, will allow cannabis companies to open bank accounts, raise credits, take out loans, and more.
SAFE Banking Act, or House Resolution H.R.1595, is up for vote, which if passed is going to create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses.
Banks have been looking for ways to penetrate into the US cannabis industry for a few years now, and so far they’ve had no success because federal regulations prevented them from having almost any contact with the companies within the industry.
It went to such an extent that the government threatened the banks with congressional hearings if they worked with them. Cannabis businesses couldn’t even open a legitimate account in any of the big banks.
A change of scenery
Cannabis companies and lobbying groups have unsuccessfully lobbied in the Congress for the past couple of years, but that was in part due to the former House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions blocking all the votes.
In the previous Congress Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the SAFE banking act which was also blocked, and would have allowed banks to give credits and loans to cannabis companies.
Rep. Blumenauer of Oregon has been one of the most active politicians in the cannabis field, as he’s been persistently fighting for legalization and regulation in the past several years. He kindly pointed out on Twitter how out of touch the federal government has been in regards to cannabis.
Right now around 97% of the US population lives in states where cannabis has been legalized, or at least decriminalized, according to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).
He also pointed to the fact that the SAFE Banking Act has support on both sides of the floor, and expressed his wishes to see it in the Financial Services Committee and on the floor of the House.
Perlmutter is one of the chief sponsors of the bill which at this point in time has 138 cosponsors, of which only 12 are Republicans. The majority required for passing this bill is 218 votes, meaning that the Democrats will need to whip up almost all their votes as they currently have 235 seats in the Congress.