Understanding the Significance of the SAFE Banking Act in 2023 and How You Can Make Your Voice Heard to Your Representative Today.
On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate. Whether you work in cannabis, are a consumer or just live in a community where regulated cannabis operates, the SAFE bill would likely have a positive impact on you. Here are a few things you should know about the bill.
The History of SAFE Banking
The idea of SAFE banking in the United States has been around for a long time now and is closely tied to the legalization and regulation of the cannabis industry. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice issued the Cole Memorandum, which outlined guidelines for how states could legalize marijuana while still complying with federal law. However, since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, many banks have been hesitant to provide financial services to cannabis businesses, fearing repercussions from federal regulators. In response, Congress introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in 2019, which would provide legal protections for banks and credit unions that work with cannabis-related businesses. While the bill has passed the House of Representatives multiple times, it has yet to be approved by the Senate. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and become more mainstream, the need for safe and secure banking options becomes increasingly important.
Interested in learning more? Check out our recent episode of Proud to Work in Cannabis, featuring Saphira Galoob, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable.
SAFE Banking Today
In April of 2023, the SAFE Banking Act was reintroduced in both the House and the Senate, which was quite a surprise as it came up much quicker than expected. This reintroduction is due in large part to the efforts of local and regional bank constituents, who have been influential in bringing pressure to bear on readdressing the issue of banking in the cannabis industry.
While this bill does not affect the legalization of cannabis in any way it would meaningfully impact the cannabis industry by:
- Improving the work safety conditions for cannabis frontline employees
- Easing operational burdens for business owners
- Reducing the community risks associated with all-cash business operations
How to Take Action
When it comes to moving this act forward, it’s important that representatives hear from their constituents, which is why we need YOUR help! Below, you will find a quick letter of support that you can send or use as a script to call your representative’s office. It’s more important than ever that the entire cannabis community comes together in this fight towards legalization.
Don’t know who your representatives are? Check out this resource that allows you to quickly identify and contact your representatives in congress.
Proud to Work in Cannabis
At Vangst, we are proud to work in the cannabis industry, and we are passionate about advocating for its continued growth and success. The reintroduction of the SAFE Banking Act is a step in the right direction for the industry, and we believe that it will have a positive impact on cannabis businesses, employees, and consumers alike. We urge you to use the letter/script provided to contact your representative and make your voice heard in support of the SAFE Banking Act. Together, we can work towards a safer and more secure cannabis industry that benefits everyone involved.
I am writing/calling to urge you to support the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. As you are aware, the reintroduction of this bill in the House and Senate is a promising sign that we can finally address the issue of banking in the cannabis industry.
The current lack of access to banking services for cannabis businesses is a significant safety issue for employees, business owners, and the community at large. All-cash transactions pose serious risks for robbery, burglary, and violent crime, which puts employees and customers at risk.
By passing the SAFE Banking Act, we can improve work safety conditions for cannabis frontline employees, ease operational burdens for business owners, and reduce the community risks associated with all-cash business operations. Additionally, providing access to banking services for cannabis businesses will allow for greater regulatory oversight and reduce the risk of money laundering and other financial crimes.
As a constituent in your district/state, I urge you to support this important legislation. Please vote in favor of the SAFE Banking Act and help us move towards a safer and more regulated cannabis industry.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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