CUNA wrote to House members Tuesday in support of including the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in the final version of the America COMPETES Act. The America COMPETES Act passed the House in February with the SAFE Banking Act attached, but passed the Senate without, so the differences will be worked out in conference committee.
“The SAFE Banking Act of 2021 would offer narrowly targeted federal protections for credit unions and other financial institutions accepting deposits, extending credit, or providing payment services to an individual or business engaged in cannabis related commerce in states where such activity is legal with a safe harbor, so long as they are compliant with all other applicable laws and regulations,” CUNA’s letter reads. “Furthermore, the SAFE Banking Act provides safe harbor to credit unions and their employees who are not aware if their members or customers are involved in this business.”
CUNA notes that the SAFE Banking Act has passed the House via roll call vote six times by bipartisan margins. It passed the House as an amendment to the COMPETES Act with a bipartisan 22-210 vote.
“Many credit unions operate in states where their voters or legislatures have made cannabis legal in one form or another,” the letter reads. “Therefore, CUNA believes that financial institutions should be permitted to lawfully serve businesses that engage in activities authorized under their state laws, even when such activity may be inconsistent with federal law.”