|Long title||An Act to protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.|
|Announced in||the 117th United States Congress|
|Number of co-sponsors||180|
The SAFE Banking Act, officially H.R. 1595, full title Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act, and also referred to as the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, is proposed legislation regarding disposition of funds gained through the cannabis industry in the United States.
On March 7, 2019, the bill was introduced in U.S. House of Representatives by Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and was referred to the Judiciary and Financial Services Committees. On March 28, 2019, the Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 to advance the bill to the full House.
The bill had "broad bipartisan support", and there were 152 cosponsors at the time of the committee vote – over a third of the entire House. Perlmutter, along with Washington Representative Denny Heck, "have introduced similar bills every Congress since 2013". On April 11, 2019, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate and the bill was referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. On June 6, 2019, the House bill moved out of committee and was placed on the Union Calendar for a vote.
As of September 18, 2019[update], the House bill had 206 cosponsors (including U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters), and the Senate bill had 33 cosponsors (including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin).
On September 20, 2019, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the bill was scheduled for a floor vote for the week of September 23 under suspension of the rules. Under suspension of House rules, the bill may not be amended, and must be approved by two thirds of the House of Representatives.
The bill was passed by the House on September 25, 2019.
The bill was originally drafted exclusively with banking institutions within its scope. However, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and other lobbying organizations achieved the addition of language from the "Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana" (CLAIM) Act, which existed in similar versions in both the House and the Senate. The added language rules out criminal and civil prosecution for both the entities and their employees or officers for the business of insuring cannabis-related industry when such industry is located in states which have legalized such activity.
The SAFE Banking Act provisions were included in the HEROES Act COVID-19 relief bill passed in the U.S. House in May 2020. They were again included in a bill approved by the house 214–207 in October. A push to include the SAFE Banking Act provisions in the end-of-year COVID-19 stimulus failed, though hope remained it could pass in 2021 if reintroduced.
The SAFE Banking Act was reintroduced in 2021 by a bipartisan group of over 100 members of the House.
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.
Finally, the bill decreases the cap on the surplus funds of the Federal Reserve banks. (Amounts exceeding this cap are deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.)
As of May 15, 2022:
|Congress||Short title||Bill number(s)||Date introduced||Sponsor(s)||# of cosponsors||Latest status|
|116th Congress||SAFE Banking Act of 2019||H.R. 1595||March 7, 2019||Ed Perlmutter
|206||Passed in the House (321-103) |
|S.1200||April 19, 2019||Jeff Merkley
|34||Died in Committee|
|117th Congress||SAFE Banking Act of 2021||H.R. 1996||March 18, 2021||Ed Perlmutter
|180||Passed in the House (321-101)|
|S.910||March 23, 2021||Jeff Merkley
|42||Referred to Committees of Jurisdiction.|
Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act
The bill's language was added to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA) by amendment on September 21, 2021. A letter to Congress by a bipartisan group of just one fewer than half of U.S. state governors urged passage through the NDAA.
Amendment to America COMPETES Act
In January 2022, Perlmutter introduced an amendment to the America COMPETES Act of 2022 that incorporated the SAFE Banking Act. It was passed by the House on February 4. On April 20, 2022, Senator Patty Murray said that the banking amendment was likely to get passed in the America COMPETES Act "in a little over a month" through conference committee negotiations. Murray became the third-ranking member of the party in control of the U.S. Senate in 2016, and is a member of the conference committee.
- "Actions - H.R.1595 - 116th Congress (2019–2020): SAFE Banking Act of 2019". www.congress.gov. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Bruce Barcott (March 28, 2019). "Enough Talk! Congress Takes Action on Key Cannabis Legislation". Leafly.
- Andrew G. Simpson (March 29, 2019). "House Committee Passes Bill to Protect Banks, Insurers Serving Marijuana Businesses". Insurance Journal.
- Saksa, Jim (March 26, 2019). "A pot banking bill is headed to House markup with bipartisan support" – via www.rollcall.com.
- Perlmutter press release March 28, 2019
- Jeanne Friedel (February 20, 2019), "Cannabis's Banking Problem", law blog, Scott Candell and Associates Attorneys at Law
- "Actions - S.1200 - 116th Congress (2019–2020): Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019". www.congress.gov. 11 April 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Kyle Jaeger (June 6, 2019). "Bipartisan marijuana banking bill quietly advances in House as floor vote approaches". The Boston Globe.
- "Cosponsors - H.R.1595 - 116th Congress (2019–2020): SAFE Banking Act of 2019". www.congress.gov. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "Cosponsors - S.1200 - 116th Congress (2019–2020): Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019". www.congress.gov. 11 April 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- "House marijuana banking vote officially scheduled for next week, leadership announces". Boston Globe. September 20, 2019.
- "Bill history – H.R. 1595: SAFE Banking Act of 2019". GovTrack.us. Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
- Schott, Jason (September 25, 2019). "Marijuana industry scores big win as House passes SAFE Banking Act". Fox Business.
- Dusek, Robin (September 18, 2019). "How the CLAIM Act will affect insurers". Property Casualty 360. National Underwriter. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Jacob, Denny (September 27, 2019). "P&C industry reacts to the passage of marijuana banking bill". Property Casualty 360. National Underwriter. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- "Surprise! There's Cannabis Reform Legislation in the Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill". The Motley Fool. May 17, 2020.
- "The most important N.J. cannabis stories this week: Decriminalization bill stuck, new women-led organization, SAFE Act has a chance". nj.com. October 2, 2020.
- "House passes updated HEROES Act with CDFI funding, SAFE Banking Act". Credit Union National Association. October 1, 2020.
- Skinner, K. (24 December 2020). "Exclusion of the Safe Banking Act in Coronavirus Relief Doesn't Mean It Won't Pass in 2021". JD Supra. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- "SAFE Banking Act, Protecting Financial Partners of Cannabis Businesses, Likely to Become Law". JD Supra. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
- Perlmutter, Ed (2021-04-20). "H.R.1996 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): SAFE Banking Act of 2021". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
- Veronica Stracqualursi (2019-09-26). "House passes cannabis banking bill, but it faces uncertainty in Senate - CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
- Arathy S Nair (April 19, 2021). "House passes marijuana banking legislation 321-101". Reuters – via San Jose Mercury News.
- "SAFE Banking Act successfully added to House NDAA". CUNA News. Credit Union National Association. September 21, 2021. Archived from the original on September 22, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- Jonathan D. Salant (September 22, 2021). "Legal cannabis businesses could get credit cards, checking accounts under new defense bill". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 2021-09-23. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
- "Governors Call for Cannabis Banking Bill's Inclusion in NDAA". ABA Banking Journal. American Bankers Association. November 10, 2021.
- Sam Reisman (January 28, 2022). "Cannabis Bill Roundup: SAFE Banking Gets Another Shot". Law360.
- Blair Miller (February 4, 2022). "House again passes Perlmutter's SAFE Banking Act in broader measure; Senate passage uncertain". Denver: KMGH-TV.
- Rich Smith (April 20, 2022). "Sen. Patty Murray Sees a Path to Finally Letting Pot Shops Use Banks". The Stranger. Seattle.
- "Patty Murray elected 3rd-ranking Democrat in Senate". The Seattle Times. November 16, 2016.
- Gerald Tracy (April 20, 2022). "Washington senator pushing for SAFE Banking Act to help stop violent pot shop robberies". Seattle: KOMO News.
- Renae Merle (February 13, 2019). "Banks want a hit of the marijuana business. Will they get to partake?". Washington Post.
- Chainey, Brenden R.; Cohen, Daniel S.; Crowley, Daniel F. C.; Gelbman, Scott J.; Hartman, Barry M. (April 2, 2021), "SAFE Banking Act 2.0's status, key modifications, and prospects", The National Law Review
- Baron, Robert (February 12, 2021), "Confessions of a cannabis banker", High Times
- Le, Jennifer N. (September 17, 2021), "SAFE Banking Act of 2021: Where Are We on Cannabis Banking Change?", The National Law Review, SAFE Banking Act 2.0's status, key modifications, and prospects
- H.R.1595 - SAFE Banking Act of 2019 U.S. House of Representatives official website