The House of Representatives recently passed law allowing banks to service marijuana businesses without being fined for violating federal law.
The final vote, known as the SAFE Banking Act, was 321 in favor and 101 against. All House Democrats supported the legislation, along with more than half of the Republican officials.
After the House of Representatives passes the SAFE Banking Act, the Senate will pass it or veto it. It will require a majority of the votes in the Senate before it goes to the President for signature.
Positive reception for the marijuana banking reform
Cannabis industry officials welcomed the passage of the bill. Reforms introduced in the SAFE Banking Act include clarifying the notion of “legitimate cannabis-related companies” and removing fees for money laundering companies in states that have undergone a certain degree of cannabis legalization.
“This will unlock banking services that are sure to benefit small space operators and social equity firms,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
SAFE Act has yet to be passed by Senate and President
This is the second time a bill on marijuana has been tabled in the Senate. The previous time, Republicans had a majority and it was turned down before it could get a hearing. In the case of a Senate with a Democratic majority, there is a high probability that the SAFE Banking Act will receive a hearing in the Senate. However, the likelihood of passing the Senate remains slim as the bill requires a majority of votes in the chamber to pass.
The Democratic Party is split between the Senate Democrats and the President over the legalization of cannabis. Joe Biden has yet to comment on whether or not he will pass the bill. Despite Biden’s reservations about legalizing cannabis, Schumer has vowed to drive cannabis reform.
For the time being, cannabis will essentially remain a pure cash business for patients and customers.
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