Attorneys general from 38 states and territories wrote to Republican and Democratic leaders from both chambers Wednesday in support of the CUNA-backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The bill would allow financial services to cannabis-based businesses in states where it is legal. CUNA, leagues and the American Bankers Association worked with the attorneys general to coordinate the letter.
“We request that Congress advance the SAFE Banking Act or similar legislation that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions that provide a financial product or service to a covered business in a state that has implemented laws and regulations that ensure accountability in the marijuana industry,” the letter reads. “An effective safe harbor would bring billions of dollars into the banking sector, enabling law enforcement; federal, state and local tax agencies; and cannabis regulators in 33 states and several territories to more effectively monitor cannabis businesses and their transactions.
“Compliance with tax laws and requirements would be simpler and easier to enforce with the regulated tracking of funds in the banking system, resulting in higher tax revenue,” it adds.
The SAFE Banking Act passed the House Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support in March. Previously, a credit union witness testified on CUNA’s behalf in support of the legislation before a House Financial Services subcommittee.
While CUNA takes no position on the decriminalization or legalization of cannabis, it supports the ability of credit unions to serve those businesses in states where it is legal.