Less than a week after the Independent Community Bankers of America expressed their support for the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, the Credit Union National Association has now joined the chorus for the path forward for financial institutions to provide banking services to marijuana-related businesses and customers.
H.R. 2215, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) and Denny Heck (WA-10) ensures that financial institutions such as credit unions can serve legally constituted marijuana businesses in states where adult use of marijuana is legal without fear of legal retribution from the federal government. Without access to depository institutions, these businesses are forced to operate in all cash, creating a public safety issue in these communities where they operate.
CUNA released their letter of support yesterday. In the letter, CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle states: “credit unions operating in states where marijuana is legal have members and member businesses involved in the marijuana market who need access to traditional depository and lending services, the absence of which creates a significant public safety issue.”
“Throughout our history, credit unions have stepped up when we’ve needed them and this is one of those moments when their support will change the trajectory of our future success,” Heck said. “As a former employee and longtime credit union member, I’m proud to stand with them and have their support in this effort to improve public safety and provide certainty to legal marijuana businesses.”
“Credit unions are on the front lines in our communities and understand firsthand how important it is to reduce the public safety threat that arises when small businesses are forced to operate on a cash-only basis,” said Perlmutter. “I appreciate CUNA’s support in the effort to align state and federal law and allow legitimate cannabis-related businesses access to the banking system.”
On June 6, 2018, the Independent Bankers of America endorsed the SAFE Banking Act. “As these businesses continue to mature they require access to the traditional banking system,” the letter states. “Cash-only businesses, especially those with a high volume of revenue, pose a significant risk to public safety.”
Bipartisan support for the legislation continues to grow with 93 cosponsors currently of H.R. 2215 and a Senate companion bill (S. 1152). Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of 19 state attorneys general sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging the passage of H.R. 2215.