A bipartisan group of 33 state attorneys general support federal cannabis banking reform, up from 19 a year ago, providing impetus to the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.
Perhaps most significantly, the support – expressed in a letter Wednesday to 10 congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – encompasses eight Republican attorneys general.
A House committee recently passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would protect financial institutions serving state-legal marijuana businesses from federal interference, by an overwhelming vote.
The bill is considered to have a reasonably good opportunity to pass the full House, perhaps as soon as next month. But the Senate is considered a tougher hurdle.
“An effective safe harbor would bring billions of dollars into the banking sector, enabling law enforcement; federal, state and local tax agencies; and cannabis regulators in 33 states and several territories to more effectively monitor cannabis businesses and their transactions,” the AGs said in the letter.
Attorneys general from four U.S. territories and Washington DC also signed in support.
In addition, 17 state treasurers recently expressed support for banking reform, up from 13 treasurers a year ago.
While one key Senate committee leader recently indicated his panel wouldn’t hear the SAFE Banking Act, Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, reportedly believes the possibility of Senate passage is increasing.
Jeff Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org