ICBA-advocated legislation to establish a cannabis-banking safe harbor in states where cannabis is legal was reintroduced in the Senate following House introduction last week.
The Bill: Introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would open the traditional banking system to cannabis-related businesses. Similar legislation passed the House in 2019 but did not advance in the Senate.
Background: The conflict between state and federal law has created legal uncertainty for banks and forced cannabis-related businesses to operate mostly in cash, presenting a public safety risk.
Details: The bill would apply to states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use. In these states, federal regulators would not be permitted to take prejudicial action on banks solely for serving a cannabis-related business.