The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on May 11th, to discuss the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The act was reintroduced in April by Senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Steve Daines (R), along with Reps. David Joyce (R) and Earl Blumenauer (D) to address the financial barriers cannabis businesses currently face due to the federal status of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.
According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a committee vote is expected soon.
What's The SAFE Banking Act?
Because marijuana remains illegal on the federal level and is still classified as a Schedule I drug, financial institutions cannot provide services, even to licensed businesses in states with legal medical or recreational programs. Not having access to banking services means cannabis businesses have to work with cash, and that makes them vulnerable and this bill seeks to address these safety concerns.
Wanting to learn more about SAFE Banking Act and the implications it would have if it was passed into law, Benzinga spoke with Paul Dunford, co-founder and vice president of knowledge at Green Check Verified, a software and advisory services provider to financial institutions that either want to or are currently banking the cannabis industry.