How long does it take for the Senate to approve the SAFE Banking Act?
Marijuana companies have operated exclusively in cash for years. No, thanks to the federal government’s old policy of preventing hemp companies from accessing services from banks and lenders. This fact makes the cannabis industry a target of crime.
In 2017, a beacon of hope appeared in the form of a law called the SAFE Banking Act, despite the fact that the edict was not approved despite the House’s multiple passes. This begs the question, “How long does it take for the Senate to approve the SAFE Banking Act?”
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The SAFE Banking Act and its origins
The Secure and Fair Engagement Banking (SAFE) bill was originally sponsored in 2017 by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado. It has been introduced in the home eight more times since that initial introduction.
The latest and modified version of this law was recently passed on April 19th, but hopes cannot be raised for now as it is not the first version of this law to be passed by the House.
As usual, after a bill passes the House it must be approved by the Senate. After that, the President can finally incorporate it into the law. The longer it takes for the Senate to pass the SAFE Banking Act, the longer it takes for traditional financial institutions to provide their services to companies in the cannabis industry.
This regulation is the only progressive step that can be taken to contain the financial problems of the U.S. cannabis industry.
It will clear the confusion between cannabis companies in areas where marijuana is legalized and areas that are not legalized.
RELATED: How Senate Cannabis Bank Prices Determine the Future of National Marijuana Reform
To make this clearer, a marijuana company in a state that has legalized the use of marijuana will currently still struggle to get support from financial organizations in that state.
This is because these institutions are being prevented by federal regulators from expanding services to companies based on cannabis plant sources.
Banks that go astray can be penalized if they fail to comply with these regulations.
So it doesn’t matter whether or not the region a canna business is located in has legalized the use of marijuana, federal law trumps them all.
This has hit the cannabis industry so badly that some entrepreneurs have had to close stores because they could not access the credit they need to grow, expand their businesses, or even recover from unforeseen events that destroyed their inventories.
Once the SAFE Banking Act goes into effect, federal regulators could no longer sanction these financial facilities for providing their services to cannabis companies and their workforce.
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Senator Berkeley, one of the bill’s current sponsors, said in a recent statement that “it is extremely dangerous for legal marijuana companies to conduct cash deals in the community.”
These companies are forced to carry bags filled with cash to pay for their business expenses. Subject you to robbery, organized crime and money laundering systems.
The Senator also reiterated that the issue is of paramount importance and the law is necessary for public safety.
An overview of the SAFE Banking Act of 2021
The 2021 bill is a slightly modified rendering of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and 2017. There is additional protection for the banks that would serve cannabis companies. All of these juicy additions were made to get the bipartisan Senate officials to approve the bill.
The cannabis companies are also protected by this bill
The 2021 version adopted a few days ago was passed with 321 to 101 votes.
Although the Senate House is the killer of the previous versions, there has been much positive speculation that the bill will be approved by the Senate in a few weeks or months – less opposition and more Senatorial support that see common sense in the bill.
RELATED: Why the Cannabis Industry Needs Congress to Pass the SAFE Banking Act
The bill will secure the future of thousands of workers in the cannabis industry and ensure that small hemp businesses have access to the capital or credit necessary to keep their businesses alive and profitable.
The playing field would be the same for all small, medium and large cannabis entrepreneurs.
“The SAFE bill offers all traditional financial institutions comprehensive security. This would ensure that they are comfortable and safe enough to provide their services to companies in the cannabis industry, ”said Morgan Fox, the group’s media director.
Future of the SAFE Banking Act
While this law is almost certain to be passed this year, it doesn’t promise to be a smooth one.
One of the senators on the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrid Brown, said he was not yet fully convinced of the bill. He added that there were other things to consider – such as reform of the condemnation – before the bill could gain his full support.
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Senate Banking Committee Chairman Senator Mike Crapo has not yet convened a session on the bill. He is reportedly against the proposal until it is amended to include some terms that have been considered illogical to the growth of the cannabis industry.
For example, Chairman Crapo says the bill should have a condition that “All cannabusiness that require financial services from banks have a THC content of 2% or less.” That is untenable.
RELATED: Cannabis Analyst: SAFE Act Won’t Reach Senate Vote, But Probably “Compromise Scenario”
The fact that it was approved by an extremely bipartisan house gives the bill an optimistic future. The American Banking Association also has massive support for the bill.
At the last count, more than a third of the chamber fully agreed to approve this bill. There are now over 30 co-sponsors with the original sponsors of the bill.
The SAFE Banking Act is a big deal for entrepreneurs and employees in the marijuana industry. Approval of this law will not only provide for banking reforms for the cannabis industry, it will also kick off the process of legalizing the drug.
Yes, banking reforms are only a temporary solution. The most effective solution is to remove cannabis as a drug from List 1. Interestingly, the MORE Act is all about that.
The sooner the SAFE Acts are approved, the sooner the MORE Act can be worked on.
No one can pin down an exact time frame for how long it would take the Senate to pass the bill, but rest assured it will be soon.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and was republished with permission.