[Congressional Record Volume 169, Number 71 (Thursday, April 27, 2023)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E376]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. EARL BLUMENAUER

                               of oregon

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, April 27, 2023

  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, yesterday Representative Dave Joyce and 
I introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or the SAFE 
Banking Act. This legislation would prevent federal interference in the 
relationship between a depository institution and a cannabis or 
cannabis-associated business. This legislation will also protect these 
businesses' employees are eligible for federal loans and other banking 
services like employees of any other legal business.
  U.S. cannabis laws are broken, including those that prevent state-
legal cannabis businesses from accessing banking services and force 
regulated businesses to operate fully in cash. To date, 38 states have 
enacted medical marijuana programs, including 21 states that have also 
decriminalized broader adult use. However, the conflict between state 
regulation and federal prohibition prevents many financial 
institutions, including community development financial institutions, 
minority depository institutions, and credit unions, from serving 
cannabis and cannabis-related businesses and their employees. Denying 
state-legal medical and adult-use cannabis businesses, particularly 
small and locally owned businesses, access to banking services is 
untenable. Without access to bank accounts, credit cards, and checks, 
state-legal cannabis and cannabis-related businesses are forced to 
operate in cash, leaving them vulnerable to a dangerous and deadly 
pattern of violent robberies.
  The SAFE Banking Act will finally allow state regulated cannabis and 
related businesses to access banking services. This legislation will 
save lives and livelihoods.
  The House has passed the SAFE Banking Act on a bipartisan basis seven 
times. I am delighted that the Senate is joining us in making it a 
priority. I look forward to working with our co-leads and our 
colleagues in the House and Senate to enact this legislation and end 
the harmful prohibition on banking services for state-legal cannabis