Big news! The recently introduced Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, will receive a full committee markup next Tuesday. A markup is the process by which a congressional committee debates, amends, and rewrites proposed legislation.
At the beginning of a markup, committee members first make opening statements. Then, the bill is read for amendment, one section at a time, with committee members offering their amendments to each section after it is read but before the next section is read. Committees do not change the texts of the bills they mark up. Instead, committees vote on amendments that their members want to recommend that the House adopt when the House considers the bill on the floor.
If you remember, HR 1595: the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was just introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA) less than two weeks ago. In a stunning, historic surprise, the legislation was introduced with a whopping 108 original cosponsors, and that number has already risen to 138.
As a refresher, the SAFE Banking Act would prevent federal banking regulators from punishing banks for working with cannabis related businesses that are obeying state laws or halting their services, taking action on loans made to those businesses, or limiting a depository institution’s access to the Deposit Insurance Fund. The bill would also protect ancillary businesses that work with the cannabis industry from being charged with money laundering and other financial crimes, and requires the Financial Institution Examination Council to develop guidance to help credit unions and banks understand how to lawfully serve cannabis businesses.
Draft legislation of the SAFE Banking Act received a historic hearing in the House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee last month. NCIA submitted written testimony along with the personal stories about the burdens and safety concerns created by the current banking situation from nearly 100 cannabis industry professionals.
Interested in helping with these efforts? You can:
– Call your representative and ask them to cosponsor the HR 1595: the SAFE Banking Act. If they’re already a cosponsor, thank them for their support. You can find out how to contact your member of Congress and find some helpful tips here.
– Attend one of NCIA’s upcoming Cannabis Caucus events to get an in-depth federal policy update — register here.
– Make sure you’re planning to attend NCIA’s 9th Annual Cannabis Industry Lobby Days, being held in Washington, DC May 21-23, 2019!