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Action on Cannabis Banking Legislation

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Last week, attorneys general from 38 states and territories signed a letter requesting action on cannabis banking legislation. They are concerned about conflicting messages between state and federal laws regarding cannabis, which have created major grey areas for businesses, organizations and agencies operating in this space, making taxation and regulation even more difficult for states.

"An effective safe harbor would bring billions of dollars into the banking sector, enabling law enforcement; federal, state and local tax agencies; and cannabis regulators in 33 states and several territories to more effectively monitor cannabis businesses and their transactions," the letter-authors said.

H.R. 1595 (116), sponsored by Ed Perlmutter (CO-7), also known as the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security last week. With POLITICO Pro’s Legislative Compass, you are able to not only track any changes or updates that are made to this bill and its progress through the legislative process, but our reporters dive deep into the issues to help you make sense of policy changes.


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Bill Analysis

Get  an in-depth analysis of the specific bill you’re interested in from Pro’s team of legislative experts. Every analysis gives you the most relevant content, including bill background and historical context, what’s expected to happen, key players and expected votes, and more.

Here is an excerpt from the Pro Bill Analysis for H.R. 1595 by Mary Lee and Zachary Warmbrodt.



The bill would block a federal banking regulator from terminating or limiting insurance or taking any adverse action against a bank for providing financial services to a cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider (Sec. 2).


“The majority of American voters have spoken," bill sponsor Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) said. "And it’s happening whether we act or not."


Banks have been lobbying Congress for a safe harbor because the sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even as a growing number of states relax restrictions.


Perlmutter introduced a version of the measure, H.R. 2215 (115), in the 115th Congress that was not considered in the GOP-led House. He unveiled a draft version of his updated bill in early February, in the days before the House Financial Services Committee’s first-ever congressional hearing on cannabis banking on Feb. 13. The hearing focused on the risks to life and property that marijuana businesses face by being cut off from the banking system and being forced to transact in cash.

The other chamber: Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is expected to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.


Supporters hope the measure will reach the House floor before the August recess, but even if it passes, Senate Republicans have not indicated whether they will take it up in their chamber.

Advanced Legislative Analytics

Within Legislative Compass, advanced legislative analytics help you prioritize and streamline your tracking efforts. For H.R. 1595, the Chamber Passage Probability, which indicates the probability that a bill will advance out of the chamber in which it was introduced, is 82 percent. The Enactment Probability, which indicates the probability that a bill will be enacted into law, is 33 percent.

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