In a joint op-ed in Fox Business today, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols and Credit Union National Association President and CEO Jim Nussle called on lawmakers to resolve the existing conflict between federal and state law with respect to proceeds from cannabis-related businesses. Specifically, they called for the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, a pending bipartisan bill that would allow financial institutions to serve legitimate cannabis businesses in states that have legalized the drug.
While the CEOs did not take a stance on the legalization of marijuana, they noted that the conflict between state and federal law has left most cannabis businesses to operate only in cash, creating public safety and tax issues and putting businesses providing ancillary services to cannabis shops at risk of losing their access to financial services.
“Fortunately, there is a way for Congress to address this issue that will improve safety, and support small business across America,” Nichols and Nussle wrote. “The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would ensure that the states and territories that have legalized cannabis can keep their communities safe, collect their taxes and regulate these markets effectively while Congress grapples with the broader questions about national drug policy.”