Attorneys general from 33 states and five federal territories called for passage of a bill pending in the U.S. Congress that would allow legal cannabis businesses access to the banking industry. In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Wednesday, the National Association of Attorneys General called for the approval of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, also known as the SAFE Banking Act.
“Our banking system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states and territories, with state and territorial input, while protecting the interests of the federal government,” the letter reads. “This includes a banking system for marijuana-related businesses that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy,”
The SAFE Banking Act was introduced in March by Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado and approved by the House Financial Services Committee later that month. Due to federal drug and money laundering regulations, even cannabis businesses operating legally under state laws are often unable to obtain financial services regularly used by other industries. Consequently, companies in the cannabis industry often do business only in cash, putting the firms and their employees at substantial risk. The SAFE Banking Act