Cannabis banking reform is back in the government halls of the U.S. today as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act is being debated by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
One of the major issues that cannabis companies have dealt with in the United States is that many banks want to avoid offering their services to cannabis companies as the drug remains illegal at a federal level.
To solve this issue, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed the SAFE Banking Act.
Today, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee will meet, and one key topic will be how the largely cash-based cannabis industry causes issues for small businesses and employees due to a lack of access to traditional banking.
As these businesses have no access to the banking system, they are made to rely on cash, which can lead to issues including money laundering, robbery and organised crime.
The SAFE banking act aim is to ensure that legal cannabis businesses have access to banking and financial services.
Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 substance under federal law.
In April of this year, the SAFE Banking Act was reintroduced to the political arena.
Despite passing the House of Representatives in one form or another seven times, it never reached the President’s desk due to the Senate.
However, if it does pass, it is believed that Joe Biden, President of the United States, will sign the bill into law.
Bipartisan support for the bill is prevalent, an unusual occurrence in today’s divided politics in America.
The bill was proposed by two democrats and two republicans and has 38 cosponsors in the Senate and another eight cosponsors in the House of Representatives.
The bill would clear a major obstacle that has plagued the industry since first being legalised by many states. However, the timeline for the bill to be passed remains unknown.