Congressional Marijuana Banking Bill Will Be Reintroduced On Thursday

MJ moment

A bill to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators will be refiled in the House on Thursday, multiple sources confirmed to Marijuana Moment. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and a bipartisan group of cosponsors will be reintroducing the legislation, titled the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The measure cleared the House along largely bipartisan lines during the last Congress, but it did not advance in the Senate under Republican control. With Democrats now in control of the House, Senate and White House, industry stakeholders are hopeful that the legislation will stand a solid chance of becoming law this year. The SAFE Banking Act would ensure that financial institutions could take on cannabis business clients without facing federal penalties. Fear of sanctions has kept many banks and credit unions from working with the industry, forcing marijuana firms to operate on a cash basis that makes them targets of crime and creates complications for financial regulators. As more states have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use, banks have relied on 2014 guidance from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) that requires them to submit suspicious activity reports if they elect to provide financial services to cannabis businesses. In the years since, the number of depositories taking on marijuana clients has gradually increased—until a more recent downward trend that now seems to be stabilizing. The head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) told Congress last month that the federal agency would “prefer” for state-legal cannabis firms to be able to pay taxes electronically, as the current cash-based system under prohibition is onerous and presents risks to workers. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin similarly said in 2019 that he’d like to see Congress approve legislation resolving the cannabis banking issue, and he pointed to the…

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Source : Congressional Marijuana Banking Bill Will Be Reintroduced On Thursday

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