Democrats unveiled on Tuesday a massive $3 trillion aid package to support businesses and individuals economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This bill, entitled “Law for Heroes”, includes provisions to protect banks that serve cannabis companies from federal sanctions, with the addition of the SAFE Act.
MP Ed Perlmutter, the lead sponsor of the bill, raised the issue at a meeting of the Democratic Caucus. The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, supported it.
A summary of the legislation states that SAFE Banking :
would allow legal cannabis-related businesses, which in many states remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic as essential services, and their service providers, to access banking services and products, as well as insurance.
This section also requires reports to Congress on access to financial services and barriers to market entry for potential and existing legitimate minority and cannabis-related businesses,” he said.
The House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act last year. The bill has been stalled in the Senate Banking Committee ever since. Negotiations on the bill continue, with President Mike Crapo recommending a series of changes. Senator Cory Gardner said an agreement was “close”. However, adding it to the economic stimulus package could speed its passage.