Cannabis Industry Trade Groups Urge Senate Committee to Prioritize SAFE Banking Act
LOS ANGELES– Cannabis industry trade groups are pushing for a Senate hearing on the upcoming SAFE Banking Act, even though it hasn’t been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives yet. The bill is designed to give state-legal cannabis companies access to the wider U.S. banking system. A letter from five marijuana industry trade organizations was sent to members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, asking them to prioritize cannabis banking. The letter argues that the industry is “at severe risk of being continually targeted by criminal activity”. The letter was sent to Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tim Scott (R-SC), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. The five signatories to the letter are the National Cannabis Roundtable, National Cannabis Industry Association, U.S. Cannabis Council, Minority Cannabis Business Association, and National Hispanic Cannabis Council.
Despite the push from industry trade groups, the timing for the reintroduction of the SAFE Banking Act is unclear, as there are many other pressing issues in Congress, particularly with the U.S. banking system itself. The recent collapse of Signature Valley Bank and other financial institutions has put pressure on Congress to address the issues facing the financial sector. Industry lobbyists like Mike Correia are optimistic about SAFE Banking, based on what he’s heard from Congressional offices since January, but acknowledge that the bill’s success is still uncertain. Some high-profile Democratic supporters of SAFE Banking have floated the idea of adding new provisions to the bill, turning it into a “SAFE Banking Plus” bill. However, without a new version of SAFE Banking with new language for lawmakers to debate, the chances of getting any reform bill through remain uncertain. Despite the obstacles, Correia believes that the political will is there to get SAFE Banking, or some version of it, through to President Joe Biden for his signature, but several hurdles still need to be cleared.
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