As lawmakers attempt to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the America Competes Act, a bipartisan group of 24 senators led by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) this week advocated for the SAFE Banking Act to be included in the final version of the bill. The provision—which would enable banks to serve legitimate cannabis businesses in states where it is legal—was included in the House version of the Competes Act.
“Allowing cannabis businesses operating legally and in compliance with state law to access financial services without federal reprisal would address public safety and compliance challenges, helping communities reduce cash-motivated crimes,” the senators wrote. “Enacting the SAFE Banking Act via the jobs and competitiveness legislation before us would support a rapidly growing industry that creates jobs, fosters innovation, supports small businesses, and raises revenue in states that have chosen to legalize cannabis, while reducing safety risks to industry employees and the public alike.”