Mainstream banks like Wells Fargo and Citigroup added a cannabis banking measure to their first quarter lobbying report.
The SAFE Banking Act already had a historic first in the 2019 Congress with a vote last month in favor of providing banking services to the often all-cash cannabis industry. The Act would provide legal protection from prosecution for banks and federally-regulated creditors that do business with state-legal cannabis businesses.
Now, there’s a cadre of lobbyists who are getting involved apparently to help push it over the finish line, according to lobbying disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate this week. Yesterday, Cannabis Wire published a piece focused on cannabis groups’ spending in Congress. But we also noticed that some of the largest financial institutions in the country named the Act in their Q1 2019 lobbying reports.
Here are some of the mainstream banking institutions—and financial services companies—getting involved with the SAFE Banking Act debate in the first part of 2019:
The involvement of banks is not entirely surprising: American Bankers Association, which also listed the Act on its recent report, has been a vocal supporter of the SAFE Act and testified on its behalf during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the bill during which the bipartisan Committee voted 45-15.
Through written testimony, the ABA argued the state-federal conflict over banks is creating broader problems for financial institutions than just whether to give cannabis businesses checking accounts.
“The impact of the divide between state and federal law extends to any person or business that derives revenue from a cannabis firm – including real estate owners, security firms, utilities, vendors and employees of cannabis businesses,” the Association said.
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