A bipartisan group of 20 state and territorial attorney generals has called for the passage of a federal bill that would give cannabis industry businesses access to the U.S. banking system. In a letter sent to leaders of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, the governors urged the passage of the Secure and Fare (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 1595).
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, one of the governors who signed the letter, said that voters have made it clear that it is time for a new approach to cannabis policy.
“Michiganders turned out in historic numbers in this last election to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and we must respect the will of the voters,” Whitmer said. “There is an inherent danger for businesses operating in an all-cash business because financial institutions are unable to accept the risks and penalties associated with providing service to this industry under current law. This letter sends a clear message to Congress that our states are looking for a real solution to a real problem, and we support them to get this done.”
Cannabis Industry Denied Access to Banking
Due to federal drug and money laundering regulations, even cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state laws are often unable to obtain financial services regularly used by other industries. As a result, companies in the cannabis industry often do business only in cash, creating extreme risk for the firms and their employees. The SAFE Banking Act would protect financial institutions and likely make more banks willing to serve the cannabis industry.
“Many of our states have implemented laws and regulations that ensure accountability of the cannabis industry,” wrote the governors in the