Gardner Talks SAFE Banking at Nat’l Credit Union Governmental Affairs Conference

February 26, 2020

February 25, 2020
Washington, DC

Lauren Williams
CUNA Communications

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) took to the main stage at the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) Tuesday morning, thanking the credit union industry for their contributions to the American economy. Gardner thanked CUNA and its member credit unions for their advocacy that aided in the roll back of regulations that stifle economic growth and investment.

“CUNA has been at the forefront of advocating for the type of pro-growth policies that have helped deliver our record-breaking economy. But sensible regulations for the financial services industry only work if we allow the financial services industry to touch the money in the first place,” said Senator Gardner. “That is why I believe we need the SAFE Banking Act – to bring the nearly $2 billion of cash from Colorado’s state-legal cannabis industry into the financial system. Every day that Congress continues to ignore reality, unintended consequences pile up for legitimate businesses. I sincerely appreciate CUNA’s support for the SAFE Banking Act and their work to pass this commonsense, states-rights approach to the legal cannabis question.”

Gardner called on Congress to move forward on cannabis banking legislation, such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.

“Sen. Crapo, Sen. Merkley and I have made great progress on the details of the SAFE Banking Act. We are working through some of the objectives Sen. Crapo has in terms of safety, research, and guidance,” Gardner said. “We’re doing it in a way that respects state’s rights, that respects the voters of the states, that moves forward on this.

CUNA sent a response to Senate Banking Committee (SBC) Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo (D-Idaho) who requested public feedback on ways to address public health and money laundering concerns with cannabis banking.

“I believe that in a matter of months we can have a vote on a compromise version in the Senate that will have the support of 60-plus of my colleagues and of the House of Representatives,” Gardner said.

CUNA has supported the SAFE Banking Act since it was first introduced in the House in March and was the first financial trade organization to testify before Congress on the issue. In House and Senate, Chief Risk Officer Rachel Pross of Maps Credit Union in Salem, Oregon emphasized that with no access to the financial system, cannabis businesses are forced to deal in cash only, creating a public safety hazard in the communities served by these businesses.

*Photos from the event can be found here. Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNANews@cumagazine@CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page. 


About CUNA:           
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit