Author of SAFE Banking cannabis measure won’t seek reelection this year

Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter, a champion in the U.S. House of Representatives for cannabis reform, announced Monday he won’t run for reelection in 2022.

“It’s time for me to move on and explore other opportunities,” Perlmutter, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007, wrote on Twitter.

He specifically cited his work on marijuana reform as a highlight of his career as well as issues such as renewable energy and supporting military veterans.

Perlmutter, one of the first and most vocal allies of marijuana businesses in Congress, is perhaps most well-known in the industry for writing the SAFE Banking Act, a measure designed to grant protections to any bank or financial institution that provided services to state-legal cannabis companies.

Though Perlmutter hasn’t yet seen the bill signed into law, he has fought to bring political attention to marijuana banking.

Tributes to Perlmutter’s lengthy congressional service immediately poured in on social media, including from the National Cannabis Industry Association, which responded to Perlmutter’s tweet with: “Thank you for everything, Congressman.”

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Steve Hawkins, the president and CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council, said Monday he believes the SAFE Banking Act might still be passed into law in 2022, which he believes would be a fitting end to Perlmutter’s tenure in the House.

“We want to make sure this is part of his legacy,” Hawkins said.