U.S. House advances cannabis banking bill, final passage remains uncertain

Cannabis dispensaries throughout the country came one step closer to using banks the way many other businesses can when the U.S. House on Friday cleared a bill with sweeping changes to banking regulations. 

Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter and Ohio Republican Dave Joyce, co-sponsors of the legislation, said Friday their proposal would allow medical and recreational cannabis businesses in states that have legalized use to move away from the cash-only business model they’ve been forced to use by U.S. banking laws. 

The so-called SAFE Banking Act passed the House on Friday as part of a much larger, separate bill that is geared toward improving U.S. manufacturing and boosting competitiveness with China on several fronts, including semiconductors.

The proposal will, however, need to survive the conference process between the House of Representatives and the Senate. At the moment neither Joyce or Perlmutter is sure that their provision will remain in the final package, given concerns from some Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker.

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