May 04, 2023

SAFE Banking Is Back! Hearing Next Week: Urge Your Members Of Congress For Support Today

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would provide legal hemp and cannabis businesses access to banking and other financial-related services, will be the subject of a crucial Senate hearing next Thursday, May 11, according to Politico. Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OR) promised quick action on this bill which is critical to the financial viability of the hemp and cannabis industries.

With the hearing next week, we need your action today!

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has joined Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and 38 original cosponsors to champion S. 1323 in the Senate, while Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are leading efforts for H.R. 2891 in the House with 8 additional cosponsors. SAFE Banking has previously been passed by the House seven times, either as standalone legislation or language within a broader legislative package, yet the Senate has not voted on it. If the banking and financial provisions can make it through committees, there could finally be a vote in the Senate.

The SAFE Banking Act protects institutions administering financial services to all legal cannabis businesses by preventing any penalization from federal regulators—providing individuals or companies operating in the hemp or CBD space explicit access to banking, credit card processing, etc. Although the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and hemp-derivatives, many farmers and business owners involved in the industry continue to have trouble finding financial institutions that will work with them—especially when it comes to cannabidiol (CBD) businesses. Specifically, the bill itself is much improved to explicitly protect financial and credit card transactions for hemp farmers and processors, as well as businesses engaged in the handling, manufacturing and sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products such as CBD. Meanwhile, the bill makes clear that hemp businesses are not subject to the additional scrutiny required for adult-use cannabis commerce.

“Passage of SAFE Banking Act continues to remain crucial for the thousands of U.S. farmers, retailers, and independent family businesses that comprise the hemp industry. We are deeply grateful to bill sponsors, Sens. Merkley and Daines and Reps. Joyce and Blumenauer, for championing this legislation, along with Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) for working with us to include explicit provisions for financial transactions in the hemp and CBD industries,” said Jonathan Miller, U.S. Hemp Roundtable General Counsel. “With Chairman Brown pushing the accelerator on hearings in the Senate, we believe the time for passage of SAFE Banking has finally arrived.”

All legal U.S. businesses should feel SAFE Banking!

We need YOU to help your Members of Congress understand the impact lack of SAFE Banking security has had on hemp businesses and farmers.

Please use our Federal Action Center TODAY to urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor SAFE Banking in their chambers. If you work in the hemp or CBD industries and have first-hand experience struggling to secure financial services for yourself or your business, please customize the form to share your story. Together, we can ensure SAFE Banking for cannabis businesses!