The Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 has been included as part of House Democrats’ proposal for a fourth stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SAFE Banking Act (HR 1595) provides a legal safe harbor for financial institutions doing business with state-legal cannabis businesses. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.), passed the House 321-103 in September 2019.
The SAFE Banking Act prevents federal regulators from taking enforcement actions against financial institutions and insurance companies that do business with the cannabis industry in states where it is legal. It also provides protection from prosecution for handling cannabis funds. The goal of the bill is to move those businesses away from cash and into the banking system. It has broad support from the financial services industry.