In an attempt to salvage SAFE Banking Act , U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) has repurposed it as an amendment to the national defense budget bill for fiscal year 2023.

This comes a week after SAFE was stripped from the final version of an economic stimulus bill. A conference committee of lawmakers assigned with reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the America COMPETES Act has dropped SAFE Banking from the omnibus bill. SAFE Banking had been added to the bill in the House but was removed from the Senate version.

“The Senate continues to ignore the public safety risk of forcing cannabis businesses to deal in all cash,” Perlmutter stated.

“In the wake of the Senate’s inaction, people continue to be killed, businesses continue to be robbed, and employees and business owners in the cannabis industry continue to be excluded from the financial system.”

The U.S. House of Representatives have passed SAFE multiple times either as a stand-alone bill or attached to a spending measure, but the Senate has presented a challenge.

Marijuana banking reform would enable businesses to have better access to traditional banking services, such as deposit accounts, credit card services and financing. Over 70% of cannabis business owners say that the lack of access to banking or investment capital is their main challenge, felt acutely by diverse entrepreneurs.

Additionally, a new bipartisan bill with similar aims as the SAFE Banking Act was in late June by Democratic U.S. Rep. Troy Carter of Louisiana and Republican U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania, the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (CLIMB) Act of 2022.

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