Federal Marijuana Banking Act Gains Tripartisan Support in US Senate

Federal legislation to allow banks and other financial institutes to work with marijuana businesses has garnered tripartisan support in the United States Senate.

The SAFER Banking Act (S.2860), which was recently given approval by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has garnered tripartisan support in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to put it to a vote of the full Senate “very soon”.

As of the time of publication, the proposal is sponsored by Democrats, Republicans and independents, a rarity in today’s political landscape.

Specifically, the measure is sponsored by 25 Democrats, four Republicans and both of the Senate’s independents.

If passed into law, the SAFER Banking Act would provide legal protections for financial institutions (including banks and credit unions) that are interested in providing financial services to marijuana businesses that are legal under their state’s law. This would allow banks to provide bank accounts, bank loans, credit processor and more to marijuana businesses with no fear of legal repercussions.

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.”

Recently the CEO of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to pass the bill into law. A bipartisan coalition of 21 state attorneys general and the attorney general of D.C. sent a similar letter to congressional leaders urging them to pass the SAFER Banking Act.

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