Can We Improve Public Safety And Cannabis Equity? Independent Community Bankers of America Took A Poll

A new poll conducted by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), which creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish, found that “two-thirds of voters (65%) support allowing cannabis-related businesses to have access to banking services in states where cannabis is legal.”

In addition, poll results indicated bipartisan public support for congressional passage of the SAFE Banking Act - bipartisan cannabis banking legislation that has passed the House of Representatives seven times but as yet not been taken up by the Senate, reported Marijuana Moment.

The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, found that “71% of voters agree that allowing cannabis-related businesses to access the banking system would help reduce the risk of robbery and assault at cannabis-related businesses — showing the importance of the policy to public safety.”

Cannabis And Social Equity

The poll noted that “55% said that with some cannabis-related businesses owned and led by people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community, allowing for cannabis banking would help these underserved communities — indicating how the policy would advance social equity.”

ICBA’s polling also found:

  • More than 80% of voters say businesses that operate exclusively in cash have a higher risk of robbery or theft.
  • 62% agree that restricting cannabis-related businesses from accessing the banking system poses a threat to public safety.
  • 63% agree that allowing cannabis-related businesses to access the banking system will help improve public safety.
  • 58% say a Senate vote on establishing a cannabis banking safe harbor is important.

"2/3 of voters support allowing cannabis-related businesses access to banking services in states where it is legal," stated ICBA on its Twitter account. "With voters voicing support the Senate should act on bipartisan cannabis banking legislation previously passed by the House."

ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said that “U.S. voters have made clear that current law inhibiting access to the banking system for cannabis-related businesses has a negative impact on local communities.

“With a supermajority of U.S. voters voicing support for allowing cannabis-related businesses access to the banking system, the Senate should act now on bipartisan cannabis banking legislation that the House has passed seven times.”

Marijuana Banking Reform Is Needed

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking in Cannabis Act was created to give cannabis businesses in legal-use states what they are lacking today: safe and affordable access to banking services.

The bill, introduced by Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, sets up protections for banks and credit unions so that they can offer loans, capital investment, and other services to cannabis companies in states with legal markets.

Although medical and recreational marijuana is legal in many states across the country, cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and the lack of federal regulation forces the industry to operate outside of the traditional financial system.

Therefore, the legislation is designed to address a conflict between state and federal law that presents legal insecurity for community banks, inhibits access to the banking system for cannabis-related businesses, and creates public safety concerns by leaving these businesses with no alternative but to rely on cash.
In June, the Senate rejected for the sixth time, the bipartisan marijuana banking legislation in the final version of the United States Innovation and Competition Act (a.k.a The America COMPETES Act).
Finally, the bill, which the Conference of State Banking Supervisors has endorsed, has more than 180 co-sponsors in the House and more than 40 in the Senate. ICBA called on the Senate to pass the SAFE Banking Act at its earliest possible convenience.

Image by El Planteo

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralIndependent Community Bankers of AmericaSAFE Bankingsocial equity
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