The U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday night approved a bill that would let banks to do business with cannabis companies without fear of penalty, giving traction to the least-disputed reform sought by the growing industry.
The so-called SAFE Banking Act would be a boon for cannabis companies, which have so far been stymied by the necessity to deal in cash because of federal restrictions. That has meant they have extra security costs and logistical problems, even as cannabis increasingly becomes legal. Some three dozen states now allow medical or recreational use, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis research firm.
The measure, which has been passed by the House before with bipartisan support, was this time approved by voice vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, who had re-introduced the bill, has said that allowing cannabis businesses to access the banking system would bring more money into the economy and offer the opportunity to create good-paying jobs. The American cannabis industry had $20.3 billion in legal sales in 2020, according to New Frontier Data.
Read more at bloomberg.com