On September 27th, 2023, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, or the SAFER Banking Act, passed the Senate Banking Committee, an important step in the legislative process for the bill. This is the first time the Act has passed the Senate Committee, previously passing the House but failing to advance in the Senate.
Currently, cannabis businesses are extremely limited in their financial and banking activities, with large financial institutions and federally chartered banks reluctant to bank with cannabis businesses. The Act would give cannabis businesses access to “deposit accounts, insurance, and other financial services” by providing a “safe harbor for banks, credit unions, other financial institutions, and payment processors” who provide financial services to state-licensed cannabis businesses. The Act protects financial institutions by “ensur[ing] that regulators cannot prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage depository institutions from serving” cannabis businesses, as well as protecting against criminal and civil prosecution. The Act also immunizes Federal Reserve Banks, Federal Home Loan Banks, and insurers.
Regarding hemp, the Act recognizes that “producers, manufacturers, and retailers [of hemp] have difficulty gaining access to bank accounts and insurance. It requires that no later than 180-days after enactment, the Federal banking regulators shall update guidance related to hemp-related businesses and service providers.”
Have questions about how this will affect your business? Schedule a consultation with EARTH Law, LLC to answer your questions, and have qualified legal experts on your side! You can contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 541-632-3946.