CUNA voices support for inclusion of SAFE Banking Act in NDAA


The Credit Union National Administration (CUNA) wrote leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to express its support for the inclusion of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act into the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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This week, the House Rules Committee approved the amendment to include the SAFE Banking Act into the NDAA. Now the amendment goes to a vote of the full House for inclusion.

The SAFE Banking Act would allow cannabis businesses in states where it is legal to access the banking system. Typically, cannabis business owners use cash in states where it is legal because they can’t get credit. This is not only inconvenient but creates public safety concerns for these owners and the communities they are in. This bill would provide a safe harbor and other protections for financial institutions serving legal, cannabis-based businesses.

“Credit unions operating in states where it is legal have members and member businesses involved in the cannabis market who need access to traditional depository and lending services, the absence of which creates a significant public safety issue,” the letter dated Sept. 21 said.

“Inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act puts in place necessary protections to bring revenue from state-sanctioned cannabis businesses into the financial services mainstream and, as a result, keeping communities safe,” CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The amendment was offered by U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Lou Correa (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), David Joyce (R-OH), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

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