The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment on Tuesday that would allow banks to do business with cannabis companies without being penalized by federal regulators.
The measure, approved on a voice vote making it part of a large-scale defense spending bill, came after the House Rules Committee made in order the amendment from Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) for floor consideration, Marijuana Moment reported, adding that it was one of various drug policy proposals lawmakers were hoping to attach to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“This will strengthen the security of our financial system in our country by keeping bad actors like foreign cartels out of the cannabis industry. But most importantly, this amendment will reduce the risk of violent crime in our communities,” said Perlmutter who had re-introduced the bill. “By dealing in all cash, these businesses and their employees become targets for robberies, assaults, burglaries, and more.”
Whether as standalone legislation or as a part of broader legislation, the measure has been widely supported, even though some are pushing for more comprehensive changes to cannabis laws to happen first.
In an interview with Marijuana Moment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) argued that passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act first could affect support for broader reform.
“I’ve always been of the view that while certainly, we have to deal with the banking and financial issues that we should do them together with legalization because the [SAFE Banking Act] brings in some people who might not normally support legalization, and we want to get as broad a coalition as possible,” Schumer,known for his efforts to create a cannabis legalization bill that will prevent alcohol and tobacco giants from dominating the industry, told Marijuana Moment.