Guess What Happened? Yes Senate Committee Passes Latest Iteration of SAFE and everybody has an opinion – here they all are

Yes a rather long winded headline to a rather long winded affair.

I”m going to say it hasn’t got a hope in hell of passing the upper house essentially as a way of being proved wrong and then like everybody else in the cannabis sector we can get on without these ridiculous hinderances to doing business and banking.

Unfortunately it will also mean if the bill passes we will get some very dull webinars and conferences and a slew of new cannabis financial experts to bore our pants off. But… I suppose, as they say, that’s the price of progress.


OK …the opinions start here

Marijuana Moment

22 State Attorneys General Call On Congress To Pass Marijuana Banking Bill That’s Heading To Senate Floor

22 State Attorneys General Call On Congress To Pass Marijuana Banking Bill That’s Heading To Senate Floor

MJ Biz Daily

Cannabis banking reform bill passes key Senate hearing


Landmark marijuana financing bill clears big hurdle in the Senate



What a week for cannabis in Congress!

It has been a historic week for cannabis policy reform in Congress!

Seven days ago, members of the House Oversight Committee overwhelmingly approved legislation  preventing the federal government from discriminating against federal employment and security clearance applicants for past cannabis use.

And earlier today, members of the Senate Banking Committee approved legislation – the SAFER Banking Act – with a strong bipartisan vote, paving the way for a Senate floor vote in the near future. Similar bills have previously been passed in the House of Representatives seven times, but this is the first time that the Senate has voted on legislation to protect cannabis consumers and licensed providers from the threat of violent robberies, while also providing access to financial services that small cannabis businesses desperately need to survive and thrive in the face of unregulated operators and massive corporate interests.

These victories would not have happened without your help. In the last 24 hours, more than three thousand NORML followers have contacted their senators urging them to support the SAFER Banking Act. We greatly appreciate all of your support, but the fight is far from over.

If you haven’t done so already, please contact your senators and urge them to support the SAFER Banking Act, and get in touch with your representatives in “the peoples’ chamber” to support the CURE Act.


Dorsey & Whitney Law Firm

Joseph “Joe” Lynyak is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney and one of the nation’s foremost experts in the country on financial regulatory reform and has been watching the SAFE Banking Bill for a long time.
Of Wednesday’s Senate committee vote, Mr. Lynyak says: 
“The past opposition to the SAFE Act banking bill has been the perfect example ‘getting in the way of the good’ (or useful),” says Lynyak. “The last time the bill was supposed to come up for a vote in the Senate, Senator Booker halted consideration because he insisted on completely decriminalizing cannabis (rather than authorizing banks to provide banking services to cannabis companies).” 
“The issue of cannabis and the SAFE Act appears to be one of the few policy questions that crosses the aisles of Congress, with both proponents and opponents coming from both the left and the right,” explains Lynyak. 
“Most law enforcement entities would prefer having cannabis companies conduct their operations within the banking system, because of the resulting transparency that would afford enforcement agencies the ability to better monitor cannabis for legal and illegal transactions,” says Lynyak. 
“Due to the utter chaos in the House Republican majority, it is quite impossible to predict how the SAFE Act would be treated should it come to the floor for a separate vote,” adds Lynyak.
“The more probable opportunity would be to attach it to an appropriations bill such as the defense department legislation as part of a Conference Committee decision.” 


SAFER Banking Act Passes Key Committee and Moves Next to Senate Floor

SAFER Banking Act Passes Key Committee and Moves Next to Senate Floor


Great news! A few moments ago, the Senate Banking Committee approved the SAFER Banking Act (formerly known as “SAFE” Banking Act) which would provide better access to financial services for the cannabis industry.

Banking access has been a centerpiece issue for NCIA since our inception and today marks a major milestone in the long fight for equity for our industry. Hundreds of NCIA member-businesses are making the advocacy that led to this victory possible. I hope you’ll add your voice to theirs so that we can most effectively build on this momentum and get SAFER Banking over the finish line.

Want to learn more? Set up a call with someone on our team and we’re happy to discuss our policy reform efforts as well as all the benefits of joining the only national trade association representing independent cannabis businesses.

The next step for the Senate’s version of the SAFER Banking Act is a full floor vote. The House version of the bill also needs to be approved before it can reach the president’s desk. NCIA is working hard to pass this legislation and we’re closer than ever. With your help andmembership, we will be better positioned to get this big win for the industry.


Passage of the SAFER Banking Act will not only open access to capital and reduce the exorbitant bank fees cannabis businesses face, it will provide the momentum Congress needs to enact broader reforms.Your participationin this process could be instrumental to the success and future prosperity of our industry.

I hope you’lljoin us in fightingfor the policy reforms like these which are needed for Main Street Cannabis businesses like yours to truly prosper.


Senate Committee Approves Historic Cannabis Banking Legislation

Cannabis industry advocates applaud move that sets the stage for SAFER Banking Act to receive Senate floor vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Senate Banking Committee approved the Safe and Secure Enforcement and Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, clearing the way for a floor vote. The legislation, introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), would allow financial institutions to do business with the legal cannabis industry without fear of running afoul of federal banking regulations. The legislation cleared the committee with a 14-to-9 vote.

The SAFER Banking Act would afford the cannabis industry better access to financial services that are currently unavailable or not reliably accessible, including depository services, electronic payments, and lending. The bi-partisan legislation has passed in the House seven times in previous congressional sessions but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Today’s committee vote clears a path for the bill to finally make its way to the Senate floor for a vote.During the markup session, multiple amendments were offered. One, from Senator Warnock (D-GA) would have created a 5-year sunset for the legislation unless a report from the Treasury Department certified that it had decreased the racial wealth gap and ameliorated other negative economic impacts of the war on drugs. This amendment ultimately failed. Additionally, amendments from Senators Hagerty (R-TN), Rounds (R-SD), Crapo (R-ID) were also offered but were ruled out of order, withdrawn, and failed, respectively.Advocates are hopeful the Senate will approve the SAFER Banking Act given the strong bipartisan support. 76 Senators represent a state that regulates the sale of cannabis for medical or adult-use — including 28 Republicans.

“The committee’s approval of the SAFER Banking Act which gives hope to thousands of compliant, tax-paying businesses desperately trying to access the basic financial services other businesses take for granted,” said National Cannabis Industry Association CEO, Aaron Smith. “This uniquely bipartisan legislation has the potential to save lives and help small businesses; it’s time for Congress to get it to the president’s desk without further delay.” 

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration made an official recommendation to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III status in the federal Controlled Substances Act but that change would not affect the current banking situation for the industry.  

The SAFER Banking Act is endorsed by the National Association of Attorneys General, National Association of State Treasurers, the American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, the NAACP, Americans for Prosperity, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and a bipartisan group of 20 state governors. 

Laws to make cannabis legal for adults have passed in 23 states as well as the District of Columbia and the territories of CNMI and Guam, and 38 states as well as several territories have comprehensive medical cannabis laws. Three in four Americans live in a state where cannabis is legal in some form.




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