by Michelle Rutter Friberg, NCIA’s Deputy Director of Government Relations
Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the GOP caucus unveiled the text of their long-awaited coronavirus relief package. The initial draft text of the bill did not include any cannabis provisions, namely, the SAFE Banking Act.
If you’ll recall, back in May, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which included the text of H.R. 2215, the SAFE Banking Act. The language included in the House-passed HEROES Act would make it easier for financial institutions to work with cannabis businesses that are in compliance with state law, as well as help address serious public health and safety concerns caused by operating in predominantly cash-only environments. After the House passed the bill, it remained in the Senate while the GOP-controlled chamber came up with their own version.
But, a lot can change in a few months. Since HEROES passed the House in May, NCIA has been hard at work (from home!) talking to House and Senate leadership, as well as other key Senate offices. The good news is that those conversations have been overwhelmingly positive and we feel incredibly hopeful that the discussion about SAFE Banking will continue to be a part of the conversation as negotiations progress.
Make sure you stay engaged and continue to tell your lawmakers that you are a cannabis voter and that these issues are important to you! Contact your Senators today and ask that they support SAFE Banking as a necessary piece of legislation that can help the tens of thousands of cannabis workers stay healthy by allowing our industry access to legitimate banking and end our cash-only operations.
Want to make sure you hear the latest about what’s happening in cannabis policy? Follow NCIA on social media and be sure to share important information and resources as we release them with your networks, because we’re going to need all of us in this together!
The most important thing anyone can do to make sure SAFE Banking and other important reforms are realized in Congress is to ensure that their cannabis business is a member of NCIA. If you are not yet a member, please support our work by joining today. If you already are a member, thank you for making our advocacy work possible.