Congressman Says "SAFE Banking Act" Will Soon Be Introduced and Passed




The cannabis industry is seeing some movement in Congress, but lawmakers are still not on the verge of passing any primary legislation.

"The SAFE Banking Act is a trendy legislation," he said. "We felt that September would be the time, but it looks like that may slip until December."


"The SAFE Banking Act is a trendy legislation," he said. "We felt that September would be the time, but it looks like that may slip until December."


The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks to offer services to cannabis companies while complying with federal laws that still consider marijuana an illegal substance.


  1. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) talked about the standalone bill. "As we have the votes to pass [it] on the floor, I think we're going to have a vote," he said. "If it's not added to a must-pass measure, it will be part of a separate bill that will pass, then be reconciled with what the House passed."

This quote means that the standalone bill is likely to be passed, even if it doesn't happen until later this year.


If the standalone bill passes, it will go to the House of Representatives, where they could still add an amendment before giving it there. The amendment is more likely to pass than a standalone bill because more votes favor amending existing laws rather than writing new ones entirely from scratch.


He also noted that there are still some Democrats who haven't signed on to cosponsor cannabis reform bills in Congress and indicated that he'd push them to change their minds during party caucuses soon. "I think over the next month or so, there will be real movement in the Democratic Party because many of us are having conversations with more moderate members," he said, who wasn't previously supportive.


The SAFE Banking Act is a trendy piece of legislation passed in the House and has bipartisan support. It would amend Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code to allow cannabis businesses access to financial services, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, merchant services, payment processing, and others.


Another bill Senator Warren introduced in this session is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORES). It would expunge federal marijuana convictions that are no longer considered federal crimes under state laws.


Conclusion


If there's one thing we can say about the marijuana industry and its advocates, they don't give up. With lawmakers now talking about their next steps for cannabis banking reform, it seems like there is hope for a change in national policy—and soon. For now, however, the industry still faces serious hurdles regarding securing access to financial services.