With the passage of a minibus funding measure on March 8th, there remain six federal agencies facing a funding deadline of March 22nd.  Once the final funding package is passed, Senate leadership is expected to resume focus on several legislative priorities, including the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act (S. 2860), which would provide protections for federally regulated financial institutions that serve state-sanctioned cannabis businesses. Many financial institutions do not currently provide services to state-sanctioned cannabis businesses, due to the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance. 

Currently co-sponsored by 36 Senators, the SAFER Banking Act advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee in late September on a vote of 14-9, at which time it was placed on the Senate legislative calendar, and now awaits a date for floor action. During a news conference about legislative priorities last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “We first have to fund the government. The supplemental is very important. But after that, you will see us turn to many of the bills that we passed: the SAFER [Banking] Act, safety on the rails, RECOUP [Act]—so many other things.”  For more information, contact RCRC policy advocate, Sarah Dukett