As states have legalized marijuana, the marijuana industry has continued to face the roadblock of fearing that the federal government will seize their money if they use a federally-insured bank. This has caused a rift between the industry and the financial institutions in their community, preventing them from working together and being allowed to safely protected their legally-acquired money.
Access to safe banking is a big deal for the businesses and employees in New Mexico who work in the cannabis industry. It’s why I’m a cosponsor of the #SafeBankingAct & will be voting for it today. https://t.co/zoiKwvUkG0
— Rep. Deb Haaland (@RepDebHaaland) September 25, 2019
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed in the House and now has moved onto the Senate. 229 Democrats, 91 Republicans, and one Independent voted for the Act, and 102 Republicans voted against it.
Big news! The House just passed the SAFE Banking Act to allow banks and credit unions to work with cannabis businesses.
Nevada is proof that the era of marijuana prohibition is over. It's time for @realDonaldTrump and the U.S. Senate to start acting like it.
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) September 25, 2019
President Trump has not voiced an opinion on what he will do if the bill makes it through the Senate vote.
Fox News reported on the recent developments.
Marijuana is legal in the District of Columbia and 11 states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington – but it still remains illegal under federal law, something a leading Democrat sees this bill influencing.
“I am proud to bring this legislation to the Floor, but I believe it does not go far enough,” said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “This must be a first step toward the decriminalization and de-scheduling of marijuana, which has led to the prosecution and incarceration of far too many of our fellow Americans for possession.
“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to make progress on this issue and reform federal marijuana laws, including de-scheduling marijuana and providing relief to individuals and communities disproportionally affected by racial biases in the way federal marijuana laws have been enforced.”
Democrats said they added provisions to the bill that they hope will bring some GOP senators to their side. Backers from both sides of the political aisle also hope that increasing public support to legalize the recreational and medical uses of cannabis might sway senators up for re-election in 2020. Nevada Rep. Dina Titus (D) tweeted in celebration of passing.
As did, Rep. Deb Haaland, who represents New Mexico’s first district and was a co-sponsor of the bill: “Access to safe banking is a big deal for the businesses and employees in New Mexico who work in the cannabis industry.”
The bill prohibits the federal government from limiting deposit limits and insurance offered to marijuana and hemp companies. These regulations have prevented banks from working with companies in the past because the federal government had the power to shut down the accounts and seize the money.