ICBA, state associations urge passage of cannabis safe harbor

ICBA and a coalition of 44 state community banking associations urged Congress to include a cannabis banking safe harbor in the America COMPETES Act conference report.

Joint Letter: In a letter to congressional leaders, the groups said the House has passed the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act six times to establish a safe harbor for financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses in states where cannabis is legal.

Impact: The legislation is designed to address a conflict between state and federal law that presents legal uncertainty for community banks, inhibits access to the banking system for cannabis-related businesses, and creates public safety concerns by forcing these businesses to rely on cash.

Status: A 107-member bicameral conference committee is convening to merge the House-passed COMPETES Act and Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act into a final, compromise bill. Those measures are designed to bolster U.S. competitiveness with China.