Just one week ago, the SAFE Banking Act passed once again in the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming, bipartisan support by a vote of 321 to 101, with every Democrat and the majority of Republicans voting in support. As the lead sponsor of this legislation, I am appreciative of the tens-of-thousands of messages that NORML members from around the country have sent to their lawmakers in support of my bill.
As you likely already know, this bill would allow state-legal cannabis businesses and their employees to access the banking system. This will get cash off the streets and into the financial system which is built to root out fraud and illicit activity. It is my hope the SAFE Banking Act will lead the way for Congress to take up other cannabis reforms and better align state and federal laws.
The U.S. cannabis industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, with the current value estimated at $17.7 billion, a substantial amount of which remains unbanked. As of January 2021, the legal cannabis industry supports 321,000 jobs across the country. Over the 2018-2028 period, job growth in this market is projected to climb 250%, the fastest rate for any sector in the U.S. Banking this cash will increase safety for the industry and give banks and credit unions more capital to lend during the economic recovery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the absence of necessary reforms, thousands of legal cannabis businesses and their workers across the country will continue to face a serious public safety risk. Congress has the ability to protect them and should do so immediately. There are many other marijuana issues that need to be addressed but passing the SAFE Banking Act is a critical element of cannabis reform which cannot wait.
While we continue to build the support needed for more comprehensive reform, I hope that you will join me in asking the Senate to follow the lead of the majority of American voters and the U.S. House and swiftly pass the SAFE Banking Act to save lives and protect our communities.
Thanks for your support,
Colorado’s 7th District