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24 Governors Name On Congress to Go Hashish Banking Invoice |

The governors of 24 states and U.S. territories despatched a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday calling on lawmakers to move laws that may allow monetary establishments to supply banking companies to the regulated hashish business. The letter from the bipartisan group of two dozen governors seeks passage of the Safe and Honest Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which was permitted by the Home of Representatives in September as a part of a complete protection spending authorization invoice.

Within the letter, which was despatched to Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer of New York, Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi and different Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, the governors of 21 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, name for provisions of the SAFE Banking Act to be included within the last model of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act for the 2022 fiscal yr.

Reduction for a Money-Heavy Business

If handed by the Senate and signed into legislation, federal banking regulators can be prohibited from penalizing banks that select to serve hashish corporations doing enterprise in accordance with state legislation. Underneath present rules, banks are topic to penalties below federal cash laundering and different legal guidelines for servicing such firms, leaving the hashish business to function in a dangerous surroundings heavy in money. The laws was initially launched within the Home in 2013 by Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, who has reintroduced the invoice every subsequent congressional cycle.

The letter despatched on Thursday, which was led by Democratic Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, notes that 37 states, 4 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia have handed leisure or medical hashish legalization measures. However companies within the regulated hashish business are nonetheless largely unable to entry conventional banking companies together with deposits, payroll and checking accounts.

“Medical and leisure hashish gross sales within the U.S. have been estimated to whole $17.5 billion final yr, however due to antiquated federal banking rules, virtually all hashish transactions are cash-based,” the governors wrote of their letter. “Not solely are cash-only companies targets for crime, hashish companies are additional deprived in comparison with different authorized companies by being unable to open financial institution accounts or receive loans at affordable charges.” 

The SAFE Banking Act was handed by the Home of Representatives in 2019 and once more final yr as a part of a COVID-19 pandemic aid invoice. The Home handed the invoice once more in April as standalone laws and has included the measure within the protection authorization invoice at the moment into consideration, however the invoice has up to now did not be handed by each homes of Congress and signed into legislation by the president.

“It’s time for Congress to permit cannabis-related companies to have higher entry to the banking system and function with regular financial institution accounts,” Polis stated in a press launch on Thursday. “Thanks to Congressman Ed Perlmutter who has regularly pushed for laws to handle this vital concern. After years of hashish being authorized in a large number of states, it’s lengthy overdue for hashish companies to lastly financially function alongside different companies within the open nationwide banking system.”

The governors additionally famous within the letter that whereas hashish has been legalized in some type by a majority of U.S. states, the continued lack of conventional banking companies and huge quantities of money all through the provision chain go away authorized marijuana companies at elevated danger of theft and different crime. Moreover, the dearth of entry to loans inhibits the expansion of the booming business.

“The SAFE Banking Modification will treatment these harms and assist maintain communities in our states and territories protected by permitting reputable and authorized hashish firms to entry banking companies,” the letter continues. “Monetary establishments will topic the funds and account holders to rigorous anti-money laundering and ‘Know Your Buyer’ necessities that can additional assist states the place hashish has been made authorized to maintain dangerous actors out of the system.

“The SAFE Banking Act has extra bipartisan help than ever earlier than, and Congress should take steps to make sure that this measure is included within the last model of the NDAA that goes to President Biden’s desk,” the governors concluded.

Along with Polis, the letter to Congress was signed by the leaders of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Virginia, the state of Washington, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin.

In April, a bipartisan group of 21 governors from an almost similar checklist of states and territories known as on Congress to move the SAFE Banking Act after the measure was permitted by the Home of Representatives.

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