A legislation that protects banks that service legal cannabis businesses from being penalized by federal regulators has been retabled in the Senate. The bill has 27 co-sponsors and comes just days after the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Banking Act was filed once again in the House.
The Banking Act was approved with bipartisan support as part of two coronavirus relief bills and also as an independent bill in 2019.
The Senate version of the legislation is being sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines and Jeff Merkley, in addition to twenty-seven other co-sponsors. Over in the House, the bill has more than 100 members who have signed on as co-sponsors.
The SAFE Banking Act would ensure that financial institutions can enlist marijuana businesses as clients, without having federal penalties imposed on them. The fear of sanctions has kept many credit unions and banks from working with the marijuana industry, thus forcing many cannabis companies to operate on a cash basis, which only creates more difficulties for financial regulators and makes them targets of crime.
In a press release, Merkley stated that no individual who works behind a register or in a store should have to worry about going through a traumatic robbery at any moment. He noted that the government would have to stop forcing legal marijuana businesses to operate on a cash basis, as it was a senseless rule that was an open invitation to money laundering and robbery.
Daines stated that businesses in Montana should not have to operate on a cash basis and should instead have a safe way to carry out business. He explained that his bipartisan bill would provide certainty for legal marijuana businesses in Montana, while also giving them the ability to freely use credit unions, banks and other financial institutions without the fear of punishment. This, he continued, would help improve local economies, create employment opportunities, support small businesses in the state of Montana, decrease crime rates and increase public safety.
Many are optimistic that the bill has a real chance of being made into a law this year, especially now that Democrats are in control of both the White House and chambers of Congress.
In addition to the chief sponsors of the legislation, other legislators who have signed on to the new version of the bill include the following: Sens. Cynthia Lummis, Bill Cassidy, Rand Paul, Amy Klobuchar, Patty Murray, Brian Schatz, Bernie Sanders, Gary Peters, Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dan Sullivan, Kevin Cramer, Jacky Rosen, Jon Tester, Bob Menendez, Michael Bennet, Catherine Cortez Masto, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Alex Padilla, Ed Markey and Kyrsten Sinema.
Despite the lack of access to banking services, many cannabis companies are surviving as best they can — and thriving while at it. Gage Growth Corp. (d.b.a. Gage Cannabis) is an example of the top vertically integrated cannabis companies in Michigan that are excelling amid the hardships that the industry in general is facing as a result of the conflict between laws at the federal and state levels.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Gage Growth Corp. (d.b.a. Gage Cannabis) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GAGE
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