Years in the making Cannabis businesses in the United States have been have been forging an uphill battle. Federal prohibition has denied them access to banking services and federal funding; social media has forced down their website; state regulations have prevented them from advertising, restricted their brick-and-mortar locations, and overtax them—all this has limited their growth. Their hope was cut short again last year when a bill proposed to give them access to the banking sector failed to receive a hearing in the Senate, even after passing the House of Reps. Well, after seven failed attempts, their hope rises again.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act bill is expected to go before the Senate Banking Committee soon. The bill will explicitly enable cannabis businesses to run financial transactions with banks, including obtaining loans, while preventing federal prosecutors from persecuting them or banks.
Legal cannabis expert Sanford Stein reminds everyone that banking affects all of us as it impacts our economy and financial growth. “And, while Congress considers banking reform…let’s get them to pay attention to the credit needs of a $60 billion industry that can’t even get a loan due to the provenly stupid scheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug under the CSA… With cannabis legal in some fashion in nearly 40 states and a growing list of countries, the economy of this industry benefits the general economy.”