Cannabis Banking Testimony Today

Rachel Pross, Chief Risk Officer at Maps Credit Union, Salem, Ore., will testify on CUNA’s behalf before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday during a hearing titled “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives.”

CUNA and the state leagues support the ability of credit unions to serve cannabis-based businesses in states where it is legal but does not have a position on legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. In states where cannabis is legal for medicinal and recreational purposes, credit union members are engaged in this market but have difficulty accessing traditional banking services. The public safety risk continues to grow among credit unions and communities at large due to the lack of access to banking services.

Pross testified before the House Financial Services Committee in February about the need for Congressional clarity on this matter. The committee passed the CUNA-supported Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) with a bipartisan vote of 45-15 in March. The bill would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions serving legal cannabis-related businesses.

Last week, Fox Business published an op-ed co-authored by CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle on the need for a solution caused by this discrepancy in state and federal laws and Forbes posted an article about the upcoming hearing which included comments by Jim Nussle. 

Eighteen state and two territorial governors added their names to a letter urging Congress to pass legislation to enable financial institutions to provide banking services to state-licensed cannabis businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy was among the twenty signatories on the letter sent to U.S. Senate and U.S. House leadership, and the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Service committees. 

NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and NJ Commissioner of Banking & Insurance Marlene Caride and NJ State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio have also added their names to colleague letters sent to Congress.

 

The House version of the SAFE Banking Act currently has 206 cosponsors including eight from New Jersey, Reps. Donald Norcross (D-1), Jeff Van Drew (D-2), Tom Malinowski (D-7), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), Albio Sires (D-9), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12). The Senate bill has 31 cosponsors including Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).