Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Legislation to provide a safe harbor for credit unions and other financial services providers that serve marijuana-related businesses in states where the drug has been legalized in one form or another was introduced Thursday by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA).

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (H.R.1595) would allow marijuana-related businesses in those states access the banking system.

Perlmutter and Heck are both members of the House Financial Services Committee, which held the first-ever congressional hearing on marijuana banking last month. There are currently 103 bipartisan cosponsors to the legislation.

While CUNA and the state leagues have not taken a position on the legalization of marijuana, they support Congress examining what steps can be taken to provide greater clarity and legal certainty for credit unions and other financial services providers. 

Currently, 47 states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of adult recreational, medical or limited-medical use of marijuana. New Jersey, which has already legalized medical marijuana, is expected to legalize recreational use in the coming months.