Cannabis-related businesses will have an industry hurdle – access to the US banking system – less burdened by a bill passed in the House of Representatives on Monday night.
The House of Representatives, in a 321-101 vote, passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, that would ban banking system regulators from punishing sanctions. Banks or credit unions do business with their service providers or state or local government with jurisdiction over the businesses.
“After years of raising this issue, I am delighted to once again see overwhelming support for a rational, bipartisan act in the US House of Representatives. I feel optimistic about the path to the SAFE Banking Act and broader reforms to our federal cannabis law, ”Perlmutter said in a statement.
The bill would waive cannabis business transactions deemed proceeds from illegal activity and comply with anti-money laundering laws. It will also prohibit banking regulators from requiring banks to terminate customer accounts unless there are justifiable reasons other than the reputation risk.
Invoices yes passed the House of Representatives earlier, in 2019, only to die in the Senate. The number of votes for 2019 is 321-103.
How valuable the bill will be in the Senate this time, while it is under Democratic control, remains unclear and an industry analyst in January Warnings against investors became too optimistic about the chance of the bill.
In February, Sen. Sherrod Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, who would have authority over the bill when it reached the Senate, reportedly said He wants the cannabis bank changes tied to the overhaul of prison sentences for drug-related offenses.
In a statement late on Monday, Brown’s office said damage inflicted on minority families from the war on drugs must be addressed but also noted the need for banking law.
“Sen. Brown favors medical and de-denominated cannabis, and while not a co-respondent to the Safe Banking Act, he believes we need to find real ways to enable the industry. marijuana access to the banking system, ”his office said late Monday in a statement.
“As chairman of the Senate Housing and Banking Committee, Senator Brown will continue to look for ways to ensure that black and brown communities, including small businesses run by a departmental minority. Organic, most affected by the war on drugs, may be involved in cannabis cultivation. the economy and the banking system as efforts of denomination are moving forward. “
During Monday’s floor debate, supporters said the bill would help cannabis-related businesses and also cut crime related to the cash-to-cash nature of those businesses.
“Most importantly, this will reduce the risk of violent crime in our community. These businesses and their employees become targets for crime – robbery, assault and more – by trading it all for cash, ”says Perlmutter.
Another bill proponent, Senator Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, said: “It’s an invitation to money laundering because the huge amount of cash is in circulation.
However, Rep. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, said the bill would work against the anti-money laundering law that was enacted just a few months ago.
He also said they ignored the question of whether the drug was illegal under federal law.
“Considering that the bigger issue of marijuana legalization has yet to be debated here in the House of Representatives, I think it is too early for the Financial Services Commission to do the full Congressional work on the matter of marijuana. legalize marijuana, ”said McHenry.