The SAFE Banking Act, a bipartisan proposal for giving the cannabis industry access to traditional banking services, was revived last week as a new attachment to a domestic spending bill.
Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D), the original sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, announced in a press release on Friday that the cannabis banking bill was now part of the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology) Act of 2022.
“The SAFE Banking Act is the best opportunity to enact some type of federal cannabis reform this year and will serve as the first of many steps to help ensure cannabis businesses are treated the same as any other legal, legitimate business.” — Rep. Perlmutter, in a statement
The SAFE Banking Act, which was stripped from a national defense bill at the close of last year, has repeatedly passed the full House chamber only to fail in the Senate, even after Democrats took control of both chambers of the Legislature.
The America COMPETES Act of 2022 contains provisions to boost U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors and competition with China, including a $52 billion cash infusion. The proposal is the House’s response to a $250 billion spending bill passed by the Senate last year and its passage would trigger a reconciliation process between the two bills, during which the SAFE Banking Language could very well be removed once more.
I have filed #SAFEBanking as an amendment to #AmericaCOMPETES b/c cannabis-related businesses – big and small – are in desperate need of access to capital & the banking system in order to operate in an efficient, safe manner & compete in the growing global cannabis marketplace.
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) January 28, 2022
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is sponsoring his own federal cannabis bill and — much to the frustration of some advocates and industry stakeholders — opposes the passage of incremental reforms like the SAFE Banking Act, said on Friday he would be open to advancing the banking language if it included certain equity provisions, Marijuana Moment reports.
Rep. Perlmutter announced earlier this month that he will not be running for re-election.
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have pledged to take action on federal cannabis reforms sometime this spring.