Cannabis Banking Reform Removed from U.S.-China Bill
SOURCE: American Banker (Subscription may be required.)
A bill that would provide banks a legal safe harbor to work with cannabis firms was removed from a larger legislative package focused on bolstering U.S. economic competitiveness with China, lawmakers announced Thursday.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act will not be included in the bicameral version of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, despite significant political pressure from the banking industry as well as elected representatives in Colorado and Washington State, where the cannabis sector's reliance on cash has made it a lucrative target for criminal activity.
The SAFE Banking Act’s longtime sponsor, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., blasted Senate leadership for once again removing the bill from consideration. SAFE Banking has now passed the House more than six times — most recently through the House version of the U.S.-China bill — but has never come to a vote in the Senate.
“The Senate continues to ignore the public safety risk of forcing cannabis businesses to deal in all cash,” Perlmutter said in a statement released on Thursday. “In the wake of the Senate’s inaction, people continue to be killed, businesses continue to be robbed, and employees and business owners in the cannabis industry continue to be excluded from the financial system.”
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