The SAFE Banking Act of 2023 is a bill that aims to create protections for financial institutions that provide services to state-sanctioned marijuana businesses and service providers for such businesses. As of now, the current status of the SAFE Banking Act of 2023 is that it is still pending in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which held a hearing on the bill on May 11, 2023. The committee has not yet voted on whether to report the bill to the full Senate for consideration. Therefore, it is uncertain when or if the bill will be signed into law by the President. Some experts suggest that the bill may have a better chance of passing if it is attached to a broader cannabis reform legislation, such as the MORE Act or the CAOA, which would address the federal legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.
The goal of the bill is to provide the cannabis industry with access to banking without fear of penalties or high fees. It states that financial rules must adjust with marijuana laws so that businesses are treated equally. As a result, workers would no longer need to conduct business in cash. They would be able to show proof of employment, get mortgages and so on. The bill has bipartisan support, but also some opposition from both parties.
This is a nationwide issue. Days after recreational cannabis became legal in Maryland, dispensaries across the state continue to see record sales. The Maryland Cannabis Administration reported – – 1: Maryland dispensaries sold over $87 million of cannabis products in first month of legalization, regulators say – $10.4 million in sales over the Fourth of July weekend. It has become critical to provide safe banking access to the Cannabis Industry.
Without access to traditional banks, legal marijuana businesses can’t access loans and capital, or even use basic bank accounts. This bill could affect the industry in several positive ways. Some of the potential benefits are:
“Without full access to the banking and payments system, legal cannabis businesses are forced to operate in the shadows,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said: “Congress has a responsibility to ensure all legal industries have access to financial institutions and services.”
This would involve not only addressing the banking and financial issues, but also:
The SAFE Banking Act has cleared the House with support from both parties on six occasions already but has hit a wall, so to speak, in the Senate. Hopefully this is the year the legislation finally makes some headway. This is the way.