CUNA backs cannabis, fin. lit bills before House vote

April 19, 2021

CUNA wrote to House leadership Monday to express support for two bills prior to House consideration this week. The bills are the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1996) and the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2021 (H.R. 1395).

The SAFE Banking Act would provide protections for financial institutions serving cannabis-based businesses where it is legal

Financial institutions that choose not to bank the cannabis industry still risk unknowingly serving those businesses in states where cannabis is legal,” CUNA wrote. “Indirect connections are often difficult to identify and avoid because like any other industry, those offering cannabis-related services work with vendors and suppliers. Under the existing status quo, a credit union that does business with any one of these indirectly affiliated entities could unknowingly risk violating federal law.

“That said, CUNA strongly supports the SAFE Banking Act which puts in place necessary protections to bring revenue from state-sanctioned cannabis businesses into the financial services mainstream and, as a result, keeping communities safe,” CUNA added.

The bill passed the House in 2019 in a historic vote, and CUNA testified before both House and Senate committees in support. A Senate version has also been introduced.

H.R. 1395 would require the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide a 25-basis point discount in FHA insurance premiums for first-time homebuyers who complete a financial counseling course.

This means real savings for Americans: on a $200,000 mortgage there would be a $500 reduction in mortgage insurance premiums per year,” CUNA wrote.