The House voted 321-103 to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) Wednesday, a historic vote that comes months after strong CUNA, League and credit union advocacy on behalf of the bill. The bill would provide legal protections to financial institutions serving state-legalized cannabis-based businesses.
“Today’s vote would not have happened without fierce, bold 360-degree advocacy from CUNA, Leagues and credit unions that made it clear that this bill is a solution to a problem that affects consumers, businesses and financial institutions around the country,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “While garnering bipartisan support for a cannabis-related bill seemed a big hill to climb, our message was heard loud and clear through Congressional testimony, letters and face-to-face meetings that helped impress upon policymakers the need for this bill. We hope the Senate will move forward in similar fashion and will engage with them going forward to get this bill across the finish line.”
Twice this year, CUNA/League advocate Rachel Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., testified before Congress, before the House Financial Services Committee in February and before the Senate Banking Committee in July.
CUNA provided resources to Leagues and credit unions around the country during the August recess to address the need for the SAFE Banking Act, illustrating how the current lack of access to financial services for state-legalized cannabis-based business is a public safety issue and underscoring how the lack of clarity also jeopardizes banking access for non-cannabis related businesses around the country who often unknowingly provide cannabis businesses with services from electricity to furniture.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) has promised to hold a vote this fall on whether to recommend this legislation to the full Senate.