21 US governors sign letter to Congress supporting marijuana banking

Almost half the nation’s 50 governors put their names on a letter this week to Congressional leaders, urging them to approve the SAFE Banking Act, which would provide safe harbor to financial institutions that work with state-legal marijuana companies.

“Simply put, this is a public safety issue that Congress has a responsibility to address,” states the letter, which was signed by 21 governors representing both major political parties along with the governors of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the mayor of Washington DC.

The bill, which was amended into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in September and which U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter believes still has a chance to become law, would likely throw open the gates to financial services for cannabis businesses that have been clamoring for help from the banking sector for years.

“The SAFE Banking Act has now passed the U.S. House of Representatives five times but the Senate has never voted on the measure,” the letter notes.

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“The SAFE Banking Act has more bipartisan support than ever before, and Congress must take steps to ensure that this measure is included in the final version of the NDAA that goes to President Biden’s desk.”

The letter was signed by four Republican governors – from Alaska, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Utah – and 20 Democrats.