The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, legislation that would ensure cannabis businesses have access to banking services, was approved on Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives after it was included as an amendment to the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Today marks the *7th time* the #SAFEBankingAct has passed the U.S. House,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the original sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, on Thursday. “I’m calling on the Senate to take action for the safety of our communities and success of Veteran- and minority-owned businesses across the country. It’s time to get this done.”

The SAFE Banking Act seeks to align federal and state law by prohibiting federal regulators from taking punitive measures against depository institutions that provide banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses. The bill establishes a safe harbor for any depository institution that chooses to provide banking services to a cannabis-related legitimate business that holds and maintains a license from a state or local government to engage in manufacturing, growing, or producing, as well as any business that handles, sells, transports, displays or distributes cannabis or cannabis products, according to a summary of the bill from Rep. Perlmutter’s office.

The House also passed the Veterans Equal Access Act as another amendment to the NDAA. That legislation directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to authorize VA health care providers to provide veterans with recommendations regarding participation in their state’s cannabis programs.

The approximately $840 billion House-passed NDAA bill, H.R. 7900, must still be reconciled with the Senate’s version of the legislation.

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