The US House of Representatives passed landmark law to ease restrictions on the cannabis industry. The banking law SAFE ACT (Secure and Fair Enforcement) offers financial institutions a safe haven for working with cannabis operators. If passed by the Senate and approved by President Biden, this bill would give the cannabis industry access to traditional banking services that were previously forced to do much of their business with cash.
This is the fourth time SAFE ACT has passed the House of Representatives. An earlier version of the bill passed in 2019 but later died on a Senate committee and never made it to then-President Trump’s desk.
Under current law, the SAFE ACT would protect banks and credit unions from federal prosecution when partnering with cannabis companies that comply with their state’s laws. This would open up traditional lines of capital from financial institutions that weren’t available as cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. The SAFE ACT would enable these banks to work with operators in states where cannabis is legal.
Cannabis is currently legal for medical use in 36 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia. Recreational use is legal for adults in 18 states, two territories, and DC
The law was passed with broad support from both parties and approved by 321-101. A letter from 20 governors and one US territory, plus bankers from each state and a coalition of state treasurers, was sent to the House of Representatives prior to the passage of the bill.
With the support of both parties, lawyers and industry experts are more confident that this bill will pass the Senate and reach President Biden’s desk.