Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) signaled today that he will hold a committee vote on a bill to help financial institutions serve marijuana-related businesses in states with legal cannabis. “We’re working to try to get a bill ready,” Crapo told Politico. “I’m looking to see whether we can thread the needle.”
In the wake of a July hearing in the committee at which the American Bankers Association testified, Crapo added that he hoped to have a committee vote on a bill by the end of the year. He said he might draft his own bill or work to amend other pending bills, such as the ABA-backed SAFE Banking Act and States Act. Crapo said he was motivated to move by the challenges faced by businesses that are connected to cannabis. “The impact on the ability of small and large businesses to operate justifies our attention,” he said.
With cannabis now legal in some form in 33 states, ABA is calling on bankers to contact their lawmakers and ask them to pass the SAFE Banking Act — which would allow banks to serve cannabis-related businesses in states where the activity is legal and prohibit federal regulators from taking action against a bank solely because cannabis is involved. The bill received a strong bipartisan vote in the House Financial Services Committee and is expected to be brought to the House floor in the coming weeks.