US House committee approves spending bill with cannabis banking protections

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A key U.S. House panel approved a spending bill including a provision that would protect banks serving lawful marijuana businesses from punishment by federal financial regulators.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2020 Financial Services and General Government bill, which included the MJ banking measure, by a vote of 30-21.

The marijuana banking provision, if it remains intact, would be in effect only for the next fiscal year but would apply to banks that serve state-legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which also has passed a House panel, would offer a more lasting solution to the banking quandary of many cannabis businesses.

In addition, the marijuana banking provision in the spending bill doesn’t protect financial institutions from possible enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has a separate spending measure.

The Financial Services spending bill still must clear the full House and Senate.