On Wednesday, thirty-eight state and territorial Attorneys General cosigned a letter to Congress endorsing the Secure and Safe Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, a proposal that would grant marijuana related businesses access to the banking industry. In a rare show of bipartisan unity from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), the authors urged Congress to enact the SAFE Banking Act and provide certainty to the banking and cannabis industries.
The cannabis industry is estimated to exceed $25 billion in sales by 2025 and this revenue will be handled outside of the federally regulated banking system. The gray market resulting from the excess cash creates several legal and public safety problems for states that have legalized marijuana. To address these concerns, the undersigned attorneys general urged Congress to advance the SAFE Banking Act or other legislation that provides a similar safe harbor.
The legislation is expected to pass the House by the end of the month and the attorney general letter was released after remarks from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) last week that his committee would not consider cannabis banking legislation.