On Monday, April 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that allows banks to provide services to cannabis companies in states where marijuana is legal, like California.
Banks have reportedly avoided doing business with companies that sell marijuana products out of fear they could run into conflict with federal laws.
The bill, known as the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement) Banking Act, states that proceeds from legitimate cannabis companies and businesses would not be considered illegal and federal regulators would craft rules for how they would supervise banking activity.
“Banks find themselves in a difficult situation due to the conflict between state and federal law, with local communities encouraging them to bank cannabis businesses and federal law prohibiting it,” the American Bankers Association wrote in a letter to lawmakers on Monday. “Congress must act to resolve this conflict.”
The group has continuously lobbied for the SAFE Banking Act.
The bill was passed in the House in 2019 but died in the Senate. While the Senate is now under Democratic control, the fate of the bill is still uncertain.
The use of medical cannabis is legal in 36 states and adult use of marijuana is now legal in 17 states.
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