In a press conference at the U.S. Capitol today, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols (pictured) joined Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in congratulating members of the House for last night’s passage of the SAFE Banking Act, a landmark bill that would help to rectify the differences between federal and state law with regard to cannabis in the 33 states that have voted to legalize it.
“The winners are the customers and clients of banks in these states,” Nichols said. “It’s the plumber, it’s the electrician, it’s the accountant, it’s the lawyer that in many cases are being denied access to banking products and services in these states.” The bill—which Nichols noted resulted from thoughtful bipartisan collaboration—would allow banks to serve cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal, and would prohibit federal regulators from taking action against a bank solely because cannabis is involved.
With the House’s passage of the bill, Nichols added that ABA will now turn its efforts to the Senate this fall, where the issue of cannabis banking will be “a top priority” for the association. He expressed optimism about recent conversations with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and other lawmakers that have signaled a willingness to address the issue in the near term. “We need to take this really important bipartisan momentum into the Senate to get the SAFE Banking Act passed,” he said.