The SAFE Banking Act has languished in Congress since early 2017, a victim of political gridlock and division, as well as political wrangling over broad approaches to cannabis legalization. We last covered the SAFE Banking Act in February, when it looked as though 2022 would be the sixth year in which this bill would die.
Since then, the bill has been showing new signs of life, though for the most unfortunate reasons. As we’ve covered, cannabis dispensaries are facing an epidemic of robbery from coast-to-coast. The lack of access to the traditional financial sector, and the need to do business in cash, makes dispensaries a prime target. The continued and mounting safety concerns have put pressure on industry officials and policymakers at all level to come up with a solution.
A bipartisan group of Senators in Washington, DC now supports passage of the Safe Banking Act, including in particular Senators from the Pacific Northwest, including Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and both of Montana’s Senators, Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Nine Republican Senators now co-sponsor the Act, approaching the ten Republican votes needed to overcome a potential filibuster in a 50-50 Senate. The sudden shift in Republican