On behalf of our members, we write to express our support for H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 which is scheduled for consideration before the House of Representativesin the near future.
This important bipartisan legislation, introduced by Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Denny Heck (D-WA) and Warren Davidson (R-OH) and supported by over 200 cosponsors would permit depository institutions to serve the needs of their customers in states where cannabis is legal.
The House Financial Services Committee has held substantive hearings on H.R. 1595 and worked cooperatively to solve the practical problems caused by the disparate treatment of cannabis under federal and state laws. Although we do not take a position on the legalization of marijuana, our members are committed to serving the financial needs of their communities – including those that have voted to legalize cannabis. The current threat of criminal and civil liability under federal law is suppressing the provision of vital financial services in the thirty-three states that have legalized cannabis in some form.
The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 provides a mechanism for the cannabis industry and its service providers to deposit their cash in regulated financial institutions, which allows our members to meet the needs of their communities and helps those communities reduce cash-motivated crimes, increase the efficiency of tax collections, and improve the financial transparency of the cannabis industry.
Without congressional action, a significant portion of economic activity, including those businesses with only indirect connections to the cannabis industry, such as vendors, suppliers, and utility companies, risk being marginalized from the financial system in states with legal cannabis industries. H.R. 1595 provides needed legal protection and clarity for financial institutions to accept deposits, extend credit, and provide other financial services to individuals and businesses that derive some portion of their income from legal state cannabis related activity. We urge members of the House to support H.R. 1595.
American Bankers Association (ABA)
Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)
National Bankers Association (NBA)