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CEO DATELINE – Associations join labor union in backing cannabis-related banking bill

December 2, 2021 |

Dec. 2, 2021
By William Ehart

A coalition of 13 mainly financial-related trade groups and one labor union is urging the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass a bill allowing cannabis-related businesses to access the banking system.

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“Despite 36 states and several territories permitting cannabis use, a growing number of Americans and legal businesses continue to face civil and even criminal liability if they service state-licensed cannabis businesses and ancillary companies,” the groups wrote in a Nov. 30 letter to Senate leaders seeking passage of the SAFE Banking Act. Cannabis is still a controlled substance under federal law.

The bill passed the House—the fifth time a version of it has passed, news site Marijuana Moment noted—as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Proponents urge Senators also to attach the bill to the NDAA.

The coalition is composed of the American Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the National Bankers Association, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association, the Electronic Transactions Association, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, the American Land Title Association, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the Reinsurance Association of America, the National Association of Realtors, the Institute of Real Estate Management and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

ABA tweeted in support of the effort on Dec. 1: “ABA joined 13 groups in a new letter supporting the #SAFEBanking Act, which will bolster public safety in the US. It’s time for @SenateDems @SenateGOP to follow the House’s lead in passing this bill to end the legal limbo over banking cannabis.”

Politico reported that the language of the bill has bipartisan support in the Senate, though there are stumbling blocks. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has said he won’t support a bill favored by industry while people are still being jailed for cannabis possession or sale. That position is backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), according to Politico.

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