Late last week, a bi-partisan pair of federal lawmakers introduced a new bill to expand cannabis companies’ access to financial resources and opportunities. Introduced by Reps. Troy Carter (D-La.) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (“CLIMB”) Act, H.R. 8200, aims to permit cannabis businesses to engage with community development, small business, minority development, and other public or private financial capital sources for investment and financing. Further, the bill aims to create a safe harbor for security exchanges to list securities for legitimate cannabis businesses.

Continue Reading CLIMB Act Introduced in Congress

As Congress continues to debate the SAFE Banking Act, cannabis business and financial institutions should pay close attention to the bill’s potential to transform the accessibility of banking and payment processing solutions within the cannabis industry. In May, a national group of state banking regulators issued open letters to Congress urging passage of the bill. This action by state banking regulators builds upon prior support from groups like the American Bankers Association as well as dozens of state governors and attorneys general. Here, we check in on the status of the SAFE Banking Act and look ahead for its implications if passed.

Continue Reading Where Is the SAFE Banking Act?

On March 23,  Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Or.) and Steve Daines (R-Mt.) re-introduced the SAFE Banking Act. As noted previously here, the SAFE Banking Act would increase access to banking services for cannabis-related businesses. The bill would provide safe harbor and other protections under federal law to financial institutions and insurers that provide services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses. While the bill passed the House last September, it ultimately failed in the Senate.
Continue Reading SAFE Banking Act Reintroduced in Senate

If you’re looking for a landslide in the 2020 elections, look no further than the undisputed winner—marijuana. In each of the ballot initiatives up for consideration, voters said yes to expanded liberalization in cannabis-related laws by undeniably wide margins. Voters from across the political spectrum in red and blue states alike approved medical and recreational cannabis laws, including the legalization of medical cannabis in Mississippi and South Dakota and the legalization of cannabis possession by adults in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Legislatures will soon enact laws in conformance with these ballot initiatives. A total of 35 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, 15 of which allow adults to legally use the drug for recreational use as of November 2020.
Continue Reading What Financial Institutions Need to Know About Banking Legal Cannabis Companies

Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (the “SAFE Banking Act”). The stated purpose of the SAFE Banking Act is to “increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers and reducing the amount of cash at such businesses.”

In particular, the bill would provide safe harbor and other protections under federal law to financial institutions and insurers that provide services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses. Under the proposed bill, such insurers and financial service providers would not be subject to liability under federal law solely for providing such services to, or investing the income derived from, cannabis-related legitimate businesses.
Continue Reading SAFE Banking Act Passes House, Aims to Increase Access of Cannabis-Related Businesses to Banking Services