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House passes SAFE banking act for cannabis commerce


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The U.S. house just passed the The SAFE Banking Act (H.R.1996 — 117th Congress 2021-2022). The act would establish a safe space for financial institutions to engage in cannabis commerce.

See the roll call and data of the vote here.

The SAFE Banking Act is a first step in ensuring that state regulated markets can operate openly in the banking system. Still according to federal law these state markets are running a criminal enterprise as marijuana is still (as of 4/20/21) on the controlled substance list as a CS1. But the IRS still want it’s money anyway and reminded marijuana businesses through the IRS 280E that they are illegal and still have to pay taxes.

Summary: H.R.1996 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)

Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2021 or the SAFE Banking Act of 2021

This bill generally prohibits a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business. Prohibited penalties include terminating or limiting the deposit insurance or share insurance of a depository institution solely because the institution provides financial services to a legitimate cannabis-related business and prohibiting or otherwise discouraging a depository institution from offering financial services to such a business.

Additionally, proceeds from a transaction involving activities of a legitimate cannabis-related business are not considered proceeds from unlawful activity. Proceeds from unlawful activity are subject to anti-money laundering laws.

Furthermore, a depository institution is not, under federal law, liable or subject to asset forfeiture for providing a loan or other financial services to a legitimate cannabis-related business.

The bill also provides that a federal banking agency may not request or order a depository institution to terminate a customer account unless (1) the agency has a valid reason for doing so, and (2) that reason is not based solely on reputation risk. Valid reasons for terminating an account include threats to national security and involvement in terrorist financing, including state sponsorship of terrorism.

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