Since the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (the “Act”) found bipartisan support in the House Financial Services Committee back in March, the industry has been waiting for even the slightest sign of its legislative progress. Fortunately — on September 25, 2019 — the U.S. House of Representatives formally passed the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, which marks the first standalone cannabis reform bill to ever pass the House. The Act, if codified into law, would unshackle the cannabis industry and open access to insurance, traditional banks and other imperative financial service companies.
Even as states have made marked progress on cannabis legalization, the federal government’s regulatory regime continues to burden the industry, including with respect to banking and similar services. Two primary issues plague the cannabis industry’s access to meaningful financial services: (i) any business operating pursuant to a state law, whether it be a financial institution, real estate company, or any other ancillary operation working in connection with cannabis industry, is subject to risk of being construed as aiding or abetting a criminal conspiracy in violation of the Controlled Substance Act since those services do, in fact, facilitate and promote the marijuana industry; and … Keep reading