SAFE stripped from omnibus bill; new marijuana banking measure introduced

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The SAFE Banking Act has hit yet another wall in Congress and won’t be included in the final version of an economic stimulus bill.

According to a news release from U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, one of SAFE’s prime sponsors, a conference committee of lawmakers tasked with reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the America COMPETES Act has stripped SAFE Banking out of the omnibus bill.

SAFE Banking had been added to the bill in the House but was not included in the Senate version.

“The Senate continues to ignore the public safety risk of forcing cannabis businesses to deal in all cash,” Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat and longtime cannabis industry ally, said in the release.

“In the wake of the Senate’s inaction, people continue to be killed, businesses continue to be robbed, and employees and business owners in the cannabis industry continue to be excluded from the financial system.”

Perlmutter again emphasized he’ll attempt to get SAFE Banking passed before he leaves Congress.

In a separate development, a new bipartisan bill with similar aims as the SAFE Banking Act was filed this week by Democratic U.S. Rep. Troy Carter of Louisiana and Republican U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania.

According to a news release, the two legislators have introduced the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (CLIMB) Act of 2022.

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The CLIMB Act would:

  • Guarantee that financial institutions working with marijuana companies would be protected from federal regulators.
  • Bolster business lending to state-legal marijuana businesses.
  • Protect federal agencies such as the Small Business Administration that could issue grants and loans to cannabis companies.

The CLIMB Act has already garnered endorsements from a number of MJ industry associations, including the National Cannabis Industry Association, National Cannabis Roundtable, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Women Grow and Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, among others.