US Congress: Marijuana Banking Legislation Gains 160 Tripartisan Sponsors

Tripartisan and bicameral legislation to allow marijuana banking now has 160 sponsors in the United States Congress.

The SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 2891) in the House of Representatives has 124 sponsors, the highest number for any marijuana-related measure in Congress. In the Senate, the updated SAFER Banking Act has 36 sponsors. Together, these 160 sponsors represent 30% of the entire Congress.

Both measures would provide federal protections for banks and credit unions that offer financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses. These businesses include medical marijuana dispensaries in the 38 states where they are legal, and recreational marijuana stores in the 23 states where they are authorized. Additionally, both measures would allow state-legal marijuana businesses to take standard IRS tax deductions, a practice currently forbidden.
Although the SAFE Banking Act has not advanced from its committee of origin in the House, the Senate Banking Committee passed the SAFER Banking Act with bipartisan support in September, moving it towards a full Senate vote. In March, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that the full chamber would vote on the proposal in the “weeks and months ahead.”

Recent surveys indicate that 63% of U.S. adults support Congressional measures to allow cannabis businesses access to essential financial services in states where cannabis is legally recognized, while 17% are opposed.

The SAFE Banking Act enjoys bipartisan support, including sponsorship by 26 Republicans. The SAFER Banking Act has tripartisan support, with backing from four Republicans and all three independent members of the Senate.

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