A group of bipartisan lawmakers, including senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Steve Daines (R) together with representatives David Joyce (Around Count Blumenauer (D) reinstated a bill for marijuana banks last week. Under the Safe and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Law of 2023, Financial institutions are likely to provide financial services to legal cannabis businesses.

Just a day after the bill was reinstated, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) reiterated its pledge to advance the cannabis banking measure with criminal law provisions, reported Marijuana moment.

“The SAFE Banking Act would ensure cannabis companies operating in legal cannabis states have equal access to critical banking infrastructure. This bill clearly contains provisions specifically aimed at helping minority entrepreneurs who are critically disadvantaged in the cannabis industry,” Schumer said.

“Right now, the norm for cannabis companies to operate by any means necessary, and that’s just not fair: It exposes them to too much risk and stifles their opportunities for growth,” he continued. “Congress should be the business of promoting entrepreneurs, promoting job growth, not holding back those things.

“We have a moral responsibility in Congress to undo the terrible damage caused by the war on drugs, which has almost always affected people of color. Therefore, I will work very hard with my colleagues to ensure that criminal law provisions are part of SAFE Banking when it hits the floor.”

SAFE Banking Act of 2023 Summary

The bill would prevent federal bank supervisors from:

  • Prohibiting, penalizing, or discouraging a bank from providing financial services to a legitimate, state-sanctioned and regulated cannabis company or affiliate (e.g., an attorney or landlord providing services to a legal cannabis company);
  • Termination or limitation of a bank’s deposit insurance primarily because the bank provides services to…

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