State treasurers renew fight for cannabis banking laws

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More support continues to be gathered to offer the cannabis space legal banking options

Several months have passed since the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was reviewed in a legislative session. A number advocates have tried multiple ways to have lawmakers include this bill in the current measures taken to aid the ongoing financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but with no luck so far. A new effort to have this bill included comes from a group of Democratic state treasurers who are renewing the petition to have the bill added back to any coronavirus-related legislation.

In July, several bipartisan leaders sent a letter to Congress, urging them to include the SAFE Banking Act in any COVID-19 bill, but several GOP members, like Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pushed back on the proposal. This week, the Democratic Treasurers Association put out a new press release to emphasize the need for reform. California State Treasurer Fiona Ma told Marijuana Moment that “Senate Republicans talk about law and order, but when it comes to the basic public safety issue of getting cannabis money into financial institutions and off the streets they are missing in action.”

She added that “It has been 551 days since I testified before the House Financial Services Committee in support of this legislation, 327 days since it passed the House with an overwhelming majority and 100 days since it was passed again and included in the Heroes Act.” For Ma, this is a simple step that can make communities safer as well as bring extra revenue to banks and credit unions. However, Pence noted last week that this coronavirus bill recently passed by the House “actually mentions marijuana more than it mentions jobs” and argued that Americans “don’t want some pork-barrel bill coming out of the Congress when we’ve got real needs from working families.”

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