US Senate Banking Committee Chairman Says Committee Will Pass Marijuana Banking Bill With a “Strong Majority”

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, says that the committee will “decisively” pass the SAFER Banking Act when it’s considered on September 27.

During an interview with Matt Laslo from Ask a Pol, Senator Brown says he expects a “strong majority” of the committee will vote to approve the SAFER Banking Act, which is a bipartisan update of the SAFE Banking Act that was filed on Wednesday. The proposal is cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Jeff Merkley, Steve Daines, Kyrsten Sinema, Cynthia Lummis, Kevin Cramer, Cory Booker, Dan Sullivan and Bob Menendez.

The SAFER Banking Act would offer federal protections for banks, credit unions and other financial institutions accepting deposits, extending credit, or providing payment services to an individual or business engaged in cannabis related commerce in states where such activity is legal, so long as they are compliant with all other applicable laws and regulations. It also provides a safe harbor to credit unions and employees who are not aware if their members or customers are involved in cannabis businesses.
“[W]e’ll pass it decisively”, said Senator Brown. Doing so would move it one step closer to consideration by the full Senate, where the measure needs 60 votes to be sent to the House of Representatives.

In a letter sent today to the bill’s sponsors, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced their support.

Speaking on the SAFER Banking Act, Senator Schumer says that it “allows cannabis businesses that have traditionally operated in cash to finally have the opportunity to accept credit and debit cards, allowing them to grow their businesses, pay their employees, protect their customers and ensure public safety.” He says that “for too long, the federal government has continued to punish marijuana users and business owners.”

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