Banks and financial institutions want lawmakers to quit stalling on banking reform
As the marijuana industry grows, so does the need for extra support to make it efficient, and offer the right services. It appears that the American Bankers Association (ABA) is well aware of this and has formally asked Congress to expedite the process to pass the Fair and Secure Enforcement Banking Act of 2021. With this bill, all cannabis-related businesses would have access to traditional banking, giving them greater convenience, and giving them the freedom to act like any other industry on a financial level.
It is clear that, even though cannabis sales have had an incredible margin, issues such as public safety will always be a drawback if they lack banking access. This whole situation stems from the fact that cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I drug, which means that even if you work in a state where it is legal, you are prohibited from having commercial bank accounts. Therefore, you are also not allowed to use credit cards or checks to pay your respective suppliers.
It is for this and many other reasons that ABA urges Congress to open retail banking to the cannabis industry through the SAFE Banking Act. In a formal letter to Congress, the organization states, “ABA does not take a position on the legalization of cannabis. Nevertheless, our member banks find themselves in a difficult situation due to the conflict between state and federal law, with local communities encouraging them to bank cannabis businesses and federal law prohibiting it.”
If the bill passes, banks would not be federally penalized for providing their services to the industry.