Is Cannabis Banking Reform on the Horizon?

Senate authority has received another letter demanding that cannabis banking reform be established as part of defense legislation—this time from financial organizations and labor coalitions.

The American Bankers Association, also known as ABA, the  Credit Union National Association also known as CUNA, the United Food, and Commercial Workers Union, also referred to as UFCW, and 11 additional organizations and entities sent the postage beseeching members to put forth language protecting banks that work with cannabis businesses operating in cannabis legal states in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The House of Representatives has already put forth language from the Secure and Fair Enforcement, also referred to as the SAFE Banking Act, in its rendition of NDAA. The organizations want the United States Senate to follow the lead set by the chamber.

‘Our groups have come together due to how the status quo is flawed for employees, communities, ancillary businesses (we did an article on these types of businesses), and law-abiding banking institutions,’ the letter generalizes. The letter appended that putting form the cannabis banking reform would ‘also present legitimate companies with access to required insurance products and protections that are granted to other non-cannabis [or non-cannabis friendly] businesses.’

‘SAFE Banking is apropos to NDAA due to how it beefs up national security by keeping bad apples out of the cannabis industry and the banking system while also preserving the thousands of veterans who rely on the cannabis industry for medicinal treatment, work, or entrepreneurial possibilities’ the letter goes on.

‘Time is vital. Each day we go without SAFE Cannabis Banking, workers in cannabis-related businesses, or CRB, many of whom are U.S. war veterans, are put in danger due to cash-accelerated exchanges,” the groups stated. ‘We recognize that creating an absolute federal regulatory system for cannabis is a multi-faceted endeavor. Despite this, we strongly affirm that the SAFE Banking Act is a vital initial step to ensure that legal cannabis markets are protected, legal, and transparent.’

CUNA, along with other associations, sent postage with a similar call to action to key Senate committee leadership back in November.

While the Senate has yet to freely add the banking reform syntax to its rendition of NDAA, advocates want to see the requirements adopted by moderators in the audience for the final bill sent to President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Bipartisan members of the Senate Armed Services Committee recently advanced their letter begging leaders to include the SAFE Banking Act in the last edition of NDAA. Shortly following, U.S. senators representing Colorado made a very similar request in a different letter.

The SAFE Banking Act has been passed in some form in the House of Representatives five times now. However, it’s so far dropped in the U.S. Senate. Industry Stakeholders have held out the promise that the chamber would push the measure with a Democratic majority. Despite this, some key members like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) requested on passing comprehensive cannabis legalization—like a cannabis reform bill he finalized a long time ago. In fact, we’ve written about it here at Stickyleaf several times.

Schumer has indicated that he’s open to passing cannabis banking reform via NDAA if it contains social equity prerequisites.

Back in November, a bipartisan coalition of nearly two dozen governors supplicated congressional leaders to enact cannabis banking reform via large-scale defense measures.

Rodney Hood, a member of the board from the National Credit Union Administration, recorded in a recent interview with a popular cannabis news outlet op-ed that cannabis legalization is a sure thing at this point—and it makes the most sense for state agencies to get ahead of the cannabis policy change resolve banking issues right now.

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