A new measure that would allow banks to serve business owners in the cannabis industry might finally be put to vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this month. If approved, cannabis businesses would have access to financial institutions without having to worry about facing federal penalties.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has been leading the charge to put the SAFE Banking Act to a vote in September. Earlier this year, the bill successfully moved through the House Financial Services Committee with a 45-15 vote. Cannabis industry officials see the success in the Committee as a sign that the bill will be passed by the House of Representatives.
Michael Crapo, the Senate Banking Chair, said he expects to have his committee vote on the SAFE Banking Act by the end of the year. However, Crapo also suggested that his office may decide to write its own bill rather than pushing the SAFE Banking Act.
News of the bill gaining momentum has “delighted” the lobbying group Cannabis Trade Federation. According to CEO Neal Levine, “The U.S. House of Representatives is on the brink of passing a landmark piece of cannabis policy legislation that modernizes our antiquated banking laws to reflect the will of the people.”
Under current federal regulations, business owners face heavy scrutiny and numerous obstacles that prevent them from obtaining bank accounts and financing for their legal cannabis operations. This has forced cannabis business owners to conduct their deals in cash.