WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) helped introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. This bill would ensure that state-legal cannabis businesses have access to critical banking and financial services. Currently, Nevada’s legal cannabis businesses are denied access to traditional and secure banking systems and financial services because banks fear they may be prosecuted under federal law given the ongoing federal restrictions on cannabis. Due to the lack of access to financial services, legal cannabis businesses are forced to operate their businesses solely using cash, often making them targets for criminals.
“The legal cannabis industry in Nevada has helped create jobs, boost our economy, and bring in hundreds of millions in tax revenue,” said Senator Rosen. “These businesses still experience systemic challenges, including not being able to access banking services. I’m helping to reintroduce the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act to continue the fight to open up banking services for legal cannabis businesses and create more opportunities for these businesses to thrive.”
To address the safety concerns resulting from these state legal businesses being shut out of banking services, the SAFE Banking Act would prevent federal banking regulators from:
- Prohibiting, penalizing or discouraging a bank from providing financial services to a legitimate state-sanctioned and regulated cannabis business, or an associated business (such as a lawyer or landlord providing services to a legal cannabis business) solely because that entity is a cannabis business;
- Terminating or limiting a bank’s federal deposit insurance primarily because the bank is providing services to a state-sanctioned cannabis business or associated business;
- Recommending or incentivizing a bank to halt or downgrade providing any kind of banking services to such businesses; or
- Taking any action on a loan to an owner or operator of a cannabis-related business solely because they are engaged in the business of cannabis.
The SAFE Banking Act has passed the House seven times with strong bipartisan support.