Marijuana Banking Bill Has A Chance In The Senate, Republican Lawmakers Say

Marijuana Banking Bill Has A Chance In The Senate, Republican Lawmakers Say

By Natalie Fertig

WASHINGTON – Some Republican senators say there is a chance that Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, will schedule legislation aimed at increasing marijuana businesses’ access to financial services for a hearing in his panel if it passes the House of Representatives.

Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Rand Paul (R-KY) both told Marijuana Moment they discussed the cannabis banking legislation with Crapo and are hopeful he will bring the bill forward.

“I’ve talked with Senator Crapo about it,” said Sen. Paul. “I think there’s a good chance they’re going to bring it up.”

The proposal—the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act—could be the first piece of standalone cannabis legislation to pass Congress, and has bipartisan support in both chambers. If enacted, it would provide an avenue for banks to open accounts for and offer loans to cannabis businesses in states where marijuana is legal. The House version of the bill passed through the Financial Services Committee by a large margin in March and is expected to be approved when brought to a floor vote, which advocates believe will happen sometime this summer.

Groups representing state treasurers and attorneys general have urged Congress to pass the legislation, as have all 50 state banking associations. The measure is also being backed by the American Bankers Association.

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office scored the legislation, estimating that it would result in a boost in deposits in banks and credit unions, and would end up saving the federal government money following some initial implementation expenses.

Crapo, though, has not yet said his committee will formally discuss the bill. Politico first reported in April that the chairman would not commit to taking up the legislation.

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