A bipartisan group of twenty-one state governors sent a letter to congressional leaders on Monday urging lawmakers to support a bill that would allow legal cannabis businesses to have access to traditional banking services. The measure, titled the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday this week and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Prior to the vote in the House, 18 Democratic governors were joined by three of their Republican colleagues calling on Congress to support the measure, noting that federal regulations make obtaining common banking services such as payroll and checking accounts nearly impossible.
“Because few banks and credit unions provide these services, state-licensed cannabis businesses predominantly operate on a cash basis,” the governors wrote in the letter. “Without banking services, state-licensed cannabis businesses are unable to write checks, make and receive electronic payments, utilize a payroll provider, or accept credit and debit cards.”
The governors noted that the lack of access to financial services results in a cannabis industry largely fueled by cash, negatively impacting public services while making marijuana businesses particularly vulnerable to crimes including robbery,