The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act Monday by a vote of 321-101.
This is the fourth time the House has passed a bill poised to protect banks servicing state-legal cannabis businesses from federal prosecution.
The House approved the language of the SAFE Banking Act for the first time as a standalone cannabis policy reform bill in 2019, only to get two more approvals as part of pandemic relief packages. The bill was rejected by the Senate.
The legislation was reintroduced in March by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, and is supported by Rep, Nydia Velázquez, a New York Democrat; Rep. Steve Stivers, an Ohio Republican; Rep. Warren Davidson, an Ohio Republican; as well as a bipartisan list of roughly 100 cosponsors, according to Marijuana Moment.
The bill would allow cannabis companies to obtain much-needed banking services, as a majority are now working with large amounts of cash.
The bill would “improve transparency and accountability, and help law enforcement root out illegal transactions to prevent tax evasion, money laundering, and other white-collar crime,” Perlmutter said Monday, as well as “reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities.”
Cannabis experts and advocates expect the bill to pass the Senate now that Democrats control both chambers and the White House.
“For the first time since Joe Biden assumed the presidency, a supermajority of the House has voted affirmatively to recognize that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a superior public policy to prohibition and criminalization,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in a press release.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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