McAdams supports passage of bipartisan bill giving legal banking services to medical cannabis businesses

Congressional News 05

Congressman Ben McAdams supported the bipartisan passage of a bill which will help states such as Utah gain access to legal banking services for the state’s medical cannabis businesses.   The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 1595) passed the House by a vote of 321-103.

“Thirty-four states, including Utah, have now legalized medical cannabis, yet current federal law prevents banks from offering financial services to sellers of this product.  That forces commerce to be carried out with cash-filled duffle bags, making medical cannabis vendors easy targets for crime.  This bill provides a ‘safe harbor’ for these state-approved businesses, which in Utah’s case are set to open in March of 2020.”

McAdams said current federal law and lack of regulatory clarity puts medical cannabis businesses’ employees and the general public at serious risk of criminal activity and harm. McAdams said that the Utah State Treasurer and the Utah legislature have called on Congress to solve the problem. The Utah legislature recently revised the state’s medical cannabis law to include 14 privately-run pharmacies to sell medical cannabis to patients.

McAdams said that the SAFE Banking Act does not legalize marijuana but protects state-authorized medical cannabis businesses, along with supply chain companies, such as real estate companies, accountants or lawyers who work with the companies, from losing their banking services. It also requires federal banking regulators to develop uniform guidance and examination procedures to help financial institutions lawfully serve state-authorized medical cannabis businesses.