House passes cannabis banking safe harbor

The House voted 321-101 to pass ICBA-advocated legislation to establish a safe harbor for financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal.

The Vote: The bipartisan vote sends the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1996) to the Senate. 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.

The Bill: Introduced by House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Chairman Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), the SAFE Banking Act 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 against banks solely for serving a cannabis-related business.

ICBA Position: As the first national banking trade group to support the SAFE Banking Act and to testify before Congress on its behalf, ICBA applauded the House vote and urged Senate passage.

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