Marijuana Banking Reform Approved by U.S. House

Capital Building in Washington DC
  • The SAFE Banking Act, which is designed to provide protection to financial institutions working with cannabis-related businesses, was passed in the House with a vote of 321-101. 
  • The banking reform also includes hemp, but hemp producers feel certain provisions need clarifying in order to protect all hemp farmers from being excluded.
  • It is unclear if President Joe Biden is planning to sign the bill into law. 

With strong bipartisan support, a bill known as the SAFE Banking Act passed the House with a vote of 321-101, making it the first major marijuana legislation approved by the Democratic-led Congress.

The new bill is designed to “create protections for financial institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.”

Not only does this help pave a path of growth for legal states, but soon-to-be legal states will also have the comfort of knowing the industry is backed financially.

Hemp producers are also optimistic about the bill, but hope that a provision that mentions hemp can be amended to ensure that no producers are excluded. 

According to the bill, in order to be a legitimate, hemp-related business, you must be “in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.” Since that legislation was passed a couple of years ago, hemp producers gained access to financial services. However, many states are in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over their final hemp ruling. This could lead to hemp producers in certain states being denied access to financial services despite being a legitimate hemp business.

“We just want to make sure it creates a hemp economy that works for everybody, said Larry Farnsworth, who serves as spokesman for the National Industrial Hemp Council. 

No word yet on whether or not President Joe Biden plans to sign the bill into law. 

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