On September 25, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The legislation is intended to allow the cannabis industry to have access to financial services and to enhance public safety by reducing the industry’s reliance on cash. It provides a safe harbor for financial services companies, including banks, credit unions, and insurers, to serve cannabis-related businesses operating under state law without the threat of regulatory backlash or criminal prosecution.
The House voted 321 to 103 to pass the bill. The bill was supported in the House by 229 Democrats, 91 Republicans, and 1 Independent.
The legislation now advances to the Senate where its fate is uncertain. A Senate version of the bill, S. 1200, is cosponsored by 31 senators, including 5 Republicans. It is unclear whether that version of the bill will receive sufficient support to pass the Senate or even whether it will receive a floor vote.
We are continuing to track the progress of the SAFE Banking Act.
Robert Vacchiano is an associate in Saiber LLC’s Insurance and Reinsurance practice group. Robert concentrates his practice on representing insurers and reinsurers in a variety of complex litigation matters. In addition, Robert has assisted clients in disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, discrimination, the Federal Civil Rights Act, consumer protection statutes, professional malpractice, construction defects, software licensing, land use, bankruptcy, and pension benefits.