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For Immediate Release
March 28, 2019
ABA Media Contact: Blair Bernstein
(202) 663-5468
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

ABA Applauds Committee Vote on SAFE Banking Act

By Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO

​“We applaud Chairwoman Waters and the House Financial Services Committee for its strong bipartisan support of the SAFE Banking Act, which is an important step forward in providing regulatory and legal clarity for financial institutions caught in the conflict between state and federal cannabis laws. More than two-thirds of the U.S. population now live in a state where cannabis has been legalized in some form, yet federal law prohibits banks from serving cannabis businesses in those states. It’s also forcing them to end banking relationships with longtime customers such as law firms, suppliers and utilities that do business with the cannabis industry.
“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize this problem needs to be addressed, particularly with the public safety concerns that arise when these businesses are cut off from the banking system and forced to hold large amounts of cash. Not only will the SAFE Banking Act address some of those concerns, but it will also make tax collections from cannabis-related business activity more efficient and increase transparency. We encourage the full House to move forward with a floor vote on the bill and urge the Senate to take up this important issue.”
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The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17.9 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard nearly $14 trillion in deposits and extend more than $10 trillion in loans.