A Senate legislative committee has scheduled a listening to on a invoice that will give cannabis companies working legally beneath state regulation entry to the U.S. banking trade. The listening to earlier than the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and City Affairs on “Challenges for Hashish and Banking: Outdoors Views” will likely be held on Tuesday, July 23 and can embody testimony from sponsors of the Safe and Honest Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (S. 1200) and representatives of the cannabis, banking, and credit score union industries.
Beneath federal drug and cash laundering laws, even these cannabis companies working legally beneath state legal guidelines are often not in a position to get hold of entry to widespread monetary companies. Consequently, firms within the cannabis trade typically do enterprise solely in money, placing the corporations and their staff prone to crime. The SAFE Banking Act would prohibit federal regulators for penalizing monetary establishments and their staff for offering companies to authorized cannabis companies, seemingly making extra banks prepared to serve the trade.
Witnesses Set to Testify
Witnesses scheduled to testify at subsequent week’s listening to embody Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the sponsor of the SAFE Act, and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado who is likely one of the 31 Senate co-sponsors of the invoice, and John Lord, the CEO of LivWell Enlightened Well being and board chair of the Hashish Commerce Federation (CTF).
Neal Levine, the CEO of the marijuana trade commerce group, mentioned in a press launch that the upcoming listening to is a sign of cannabis coverage reform’s new help in Congress, together with the Republican-led Senate.
“This listening to is one more signal that Congress is taking the cannabis banking drawback critically and intends to take motion to right it,” mentioned Levine. “Hashish companies working legally beneath state and native legal guidelines ought to have the identical entry to banking and monetary companies as some other sort of enterprise.”
Levine added that Lord’s look earlier than the committee would give him the chance “to debate the challenges of working a cannabis enterprise with out full banking companies.”
“Together with his decade of expertise complying with laws on this continuously evolving trade, John has a perspective shared by few others within the nation,” he mentioned. “We anticipate his testimony will likely be instructional for members of the Committee and make a compelling case for the SAFE Banking Act.”
Retaining Communities Protected
Jim Nussle, the president and CEO of the Credit score Union Nationwide Affiliation, mentioned the SAFE Act is about preserving communities protected.
“At its coronary heart, cannabis banking is a public security subject. It’s an $8.three billion trade that’s presently being pressured to function virtually completely in money,” Nussle mentioned. “Whereas 33 states, territories and DC have legalized cannabis, it’s been overwhelmingly tough to supply these companies monetary companies as a result of dealing with transactions are presently thought-about cash laundering. Credit score unions have been main the best way in serving to to get this cash off the streets. We’re devoted to discovering an answer to this ongoing problem that impacts each neighborhood across the nation, and sit up for working with Senate leaders throughout this listening to and with Congress at giant.”
The SAFE Banking Act can also be pending within the Home, the place it’s sponsored by Colorado Democrat Rep. Ed Perlmutter.