U.S. House Debates Marijuana Banking Bill, With Final Vote Set For This Evening

MJ moment

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday debated a bill to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators. It was approved in an initial voice vote, but a formal roll call tally is set to be taken later this evening to determine final passage. The legislation, which was reintroduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and a long bipartisan list of cosponsors last month, is being taken up under a process known as suspension of the rules, which does not allow for amendments and requires a 2/3rd supermajority to pass. Given the strong level of support the bill enjoyed when the House first approved it in 2019, that’s an achievable threshold. The #SAFEBankingAct is a big deal for the thousands of employees, businesses & communities who've been forced to deal in cash. It’s past time to align state & federal law on this issue & I look forward to #SAFEBanking once again passing the House w/broad, bipartisan support. https://t.co/j7mlaq0NWZ — Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) April 19, 2021 “The fact is that people in states and localities across the country are voting to approve some level of cannabis use, and we need these cannabis businesses and employees to have access to checking accounts, payroll accounts, lines of credit, credit cards and more,” Perlmutter said on the House floor. “This will improve transparency and accountability, and help law enforcement root out illegal transactions to prevent tax evasion, money laundering and other white collar crime. But most importantly, this will reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities.” Because marijuana businesses are largely precluded from accessing traditional financial institutions and have to operate on a mostly cash-only basis, that makes them targets of crime—a point that advocates, regulators and banking representatives have emphasized. “Even if you are…

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