The House of Representatives officially passed cannabis banking legislation today in a historic vote. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed the House vote by a lopsided 321-103 margin. The bill is now on it’s way to the Senate floor where it will attempt to climb over its final hurdle before being written into law.
The banking bill was created to provide cannabis businesses with fair access to the U.S. banking system as well as protect the banks that decide to service the industry.
Until now, the marijuana industry in the United States has been operating on a mostly cash-only basis. The cash system presents all sorts of potential problems and today’s news puts the industry one step closer to eliminating this issue.
The SAFE Act was sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and today became the first standalone cannabis reform bill to pass the House or Senate.
The #SAFEBankingAct passed by a vote of 321 to 103 in the U.S. House! This is a huge milestone in reforming federal cannabis laws and reducing the public safety risk in communities across the country. #SAFEBanking #copolitics
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) September 25, 2019
Next up is the Senate vote and hopefully followed by President Trump’s signature.
The House is currently controlled by the Democrats while the Senate by the Republicans. Some experts believe the Senate poses a stiffer challenge for the bill.
“If someone wants to oppose the legalization of marijuana, that’s their prerogative, but American voters have spoken and continue to speak and the fact is you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Prohibition is over. Our bill is focused solely on taking cash off the streets and making our communities safe and only congress can take these steps to provide this certainty for businesses, employees and financial institutions across the country.” stated Rep. Ed Perlmutter prior to the vote.
Read what pro-cannabis legalization members of the industry had to say moments after the historic vote:
“Today’s vote is a significant first step, but it must not be the last. Much more action will still need to be taken by lawmakers. In the Senate, we demand that lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee hold true to their commitment to move expeditiously in support of similar federal reforms. And in the House, we anticipate additional efforts to move forward and pass comprehensive reform legislation like The MORE Act—which is sponsored by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—in order to ultimately comport federal law with the new political and cultural realities surrounding marijuana.” – Justin Strekal Political Director NORML
“We applaud the House for approving this bipartisan solution to the cannabis banking problem, and we hope the Senate will move quickly to do the same. This vital legislation will have an immediate and positive impact, not only on the state-legal cannabis industry, but also on the many communities across the nation that have opted to embrace the regulation of cannabis.” – Neal Levine CEO Cannabis Trade Federation
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