The Saga of the Safe Banking Act

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced this year in the House of Representative as a means of permanently protecting financial institutions in legalized states that want to offer basic banking services to marijuana businesses.

Since 2014, protections have existed for cannabis businesses in legalized states via "riders" that have needed to be passed with each successive year. However, the SAFE Banking Act represents the first piece of stand-alone cannabis legislation to be voted on in Congress. If it becomes law Congress would no longer need to pass annual riders, since the Act itself would protect credit unions and banks from being targeted by the federal government for providing services to the marijuana industry.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the House voted on the SAFE banking act under a procedure known as "suspension of the rules." This procedure is typically reserved for noncontroversial legislation in instances where lawmakers want to quickly pass a bill. Of course, a simple majority doesn't work with suspension of the rules. Instead, a two-thirds majority (290, or more, out of 435 votes) is needed for passage.

When the gavel struck, members of the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the SAFE Banking Act: 321 in favor, to 103 opposed. A majority vote was certainly expected with the bill having 206 cosponsors heading into its historic vote. However, 321 yay votes are above and beyond expectations and demonstrate that cannabis banking reform has become a bipartisan issue. 

So what's next?

Well that's when the voice of the people come in! Oh and here is the link to find your local senate to let them hear it!!




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