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Colorado congressman introduces cannabis banking bill

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., introduced H.R.1595, a bill aimed at protecting depository institutions offering financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses.

The bill, called the Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019, or SAFE Banking Act of 2019, would prohibit federal banking regulators from, among other things, taking any adverse action against a depository institution for providing financial services to a cannabis-related business or service provider. It would increase public safety by expanding financial services to such businesses and their service providers, and reducing the amount of cash at such businesses.

In addition, the proceeds from transactions carried out by a cannabis-related business shall not be considered as proceeds from an unlawful activity only because the business was cannabis-related.

Within 180 days of the enactment of the bill, the Financial Institutions Examination Council shall develop uniform guidance and examination procedures for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related businesses.

The legislation was co-sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash.; Warren Davidson, R-Ohio; and Steve Stivers, R-Ohio.