A House provision allowing banks to provide credit cards, checking accounts and other financial services to legal cannabis businesses failed to survive negotiations with the Senate and was left out of legislation setting federal defense policy for the 12 months that began Oct. 1.
The House had added the Secure and Fair Enforcement, or SAFE, Banking Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, but the Senate balked at including the provision and it was removed from the final legislation.
“As has been the case with cannabis reforms nationally, progress takes time but the will of the people will prevail,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., the banking bill’s chief sponsor. “The SAFE Banking Act has been sitting in the Senate for three years and with every passing day their unwillingness to deal with the issue endangers and harms businesses, their employees, and communities across the country.”
Steven Hawkins, chief executive of the U.S. Cannabis Council, said he was disappointed that the banking provision didn’t make it into the final defense measure.
“We see the consequences every day of the lack of banking access, from the rash of dispensary robberies to the ongoing challenges of minority and small business owners to secure capital,” Hawkins said. “The SAFE Banking Act would provide urgently needed relief to cannabis businesses of all sizes and put wind in the sails of the broader push to end federal cannabis prohibition.” [Read More @ NJ.com]