The House Committee on Financial Services, known as the House Banking Committee, is set to vote on the Secure and Fair Enforcement “SAFE” Banking Act of 2019 tomorrow in a continuation of today’s markups.
If passed, the bill would allow banks and other financial institutions to start providing services to marijuana companies. It would also protect banks and other financial institutions from federal criminal prosecution. The current unavailability of banking to legal marijuana companies acts as a serious hurdle to smooth, efficient and safe operation of said companies. When combined with the provisions of US Tax code 280e, which “forbids businesses from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses from gross income associated with the ‘trafficking’ of” substances including marijuana, it is very difficult for a legal marijuana industry to exist.
Discussed today was the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act and the Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 but, although slated to be discussed tomorrow, the SAFE Banking Act was definitely on people’s minds.
While speaking of what he previously called “reefer madness,” Representative Denny Heck (D-WA), said that no law enforcement officer has ever reported a case of domestic violence from weed to him, but that “once every two minutes a law enforcement officer is called into a home where there is domestic violence that’s caused by alcohol.”
After an afternoon of impassioned discussion, Representative Patrick McHenry (D-NC) asked the Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) about tomorrow’s schedule, making sure there would be ample time to discuss the SAFE Banking Act. “There is sincere interest in making sure this bill actually functions for the result that the author wants it to,” said McHenry speaking of Democratic representative Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, the author of the bill.
The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 will be discussed tomorrow starting at 10 A.M. along with the Consumers First Act and the SEC Disclosure Effectiveness Testing Act. If it is passed it will be a significant step forward for the fledgling US marijuana industry.
Watch tomorrow’s hearing live at 10 A.M.:
Watch today’s hearings live here: