CUNA backs SAFE Banking amendment to FY23 NDAA

July 14, 2022

CUNA joined organizations in supporting the addition of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to the House version of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is scheduled for a House floor vote this week. The SAFE Banking Act is a CUNA-League supported bill offering safe harbor for financial institutions serving legal, cannabis-based businesses.

“Financial institutions operating in states where it is legal have business and individuals involved in the cannabis market who need access to traditional depository and lending services, the absence of which creates a significant public safety issue,” the letter reads.

“Additionally, even those financial institutions that choose not to bank the cannabis industry risk unknowingly serving cannabis businesses in states where cannabis is legal. Indirect connections are often difficult to identify and avoid because, like any other industry, those offering cannabis-related services work with vendors and suppliers,” it adds. “Under current law, a financial institution that does business with any one of these indirectly affiliated entities could unknowingly violate federal law.

“The SAFE Banking Act puts in place necessary protections to bring revenue from state-sanctioned cannabis businesses into the financial services mainstream.”

The amendment was offered by Reps. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo. (the bill’s original sponsor), Nydia Velázquez, D.-N.Y., Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, and Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

CUNA also signed onto letters of support for amendments that would:

  • Allow the use of remote online notarization.
  • Reauthorize CARES Act enhancements to NCUA’s Central Liquidity through 2023. and provide additional employment opportunities in financial services.