Support for SAFE Banking Act Continues to Grow

Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware

Support for the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 1595) continues to grow in Congress. The bill would offer narrowly targeted federal protections for credit unions and other financial institutions accepting deposits, extending credit, or providing payment services to an individual or business engaged in cannabis related commerce in states where such activity is legal with a safe harbor, so long as they are compliant with all other applicable laws and regulations. Furthermore, the SAFE Banking Act provides safe harbor to credit unions and their employees who are not aware if their members or customers are involved in this business.

The House Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 in favor of advancing the bill for a vote, after amending it to include insurance companies as well as banks and to require the federal government to study diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry. A similar bill, including those amendments, was later filed in the Senate, with 20 cosponsors, four of them Republicans.

Association President/CEO Ron McLean sent a letter of appreciation to Delaware’s Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester as she joined with 180 of her colleagues in support of the bill, including Chair of the House Rules Committee, Representative James McGovern, of Massachusetts. Also among the signers are Massachusetts Representatives Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton, Richard Neal, and Ayanna Pressley; New Hampshire Representatives Chris Pappas and Ann Kuster; New Jersey Representatives Albio Sire, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Mikkie Sherrill, Donald Norcross, Tom Malinowski, and Jefferson Van Drew; and Rhode Island Representative David Ciccilline.

Ron McLean recently urged member states’ Attorneys General to join a contingent of State Attorneys General in sending a similar letter of support to the House, requesting advancement of the SAFE Banking Act, or similar legislation, in the coming weeks.