Banking & Finance

SAFE Act Could Spark Global Reform Concerning Banking Protections For Cannabis Companies & Their Partners

SAFE Act Could Spark Global Reform Concerning Banking Protections For Cannabis Companies & Their Partners

Because cannabis has no federal-level legalization or decriminalization protections, banks and credit card companies are at risk for money laundering charges and /or other lawsuits connected to marijuana.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and related Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act were intended to provide cover to encourage investment. Unfortunately, both are stalled in committee.

Small cannabis businesses are typically cash-only. This means tens of thousands of dollars are on hand. This is a risk to the companies, the owners, and workers.

Without the protection of SAFE and CLAIM, the U.S. government can prohibit, seize, or take corrective action against institutions that do business with cannabis companies. This creates an investment deterrent with international implications.

Most major international banks have some connection to an American bank or direct U.S. operations. This liability is too great a risk. As a result, other countries choose to not do business with the U.S. cannabis industry. This has even made it hard for companies selling cannabis accessories like smell-proof jars.

The SAFE Banking Act has the endorsement of financial groups like the American Bankers Association and Credit Union National Association. The potential for passage of the message seems promising.

The passage of both measures would create security that allows banks, credit institutions, and insurance companies to engage in the global cannabis market, creating pathways for large international transactions, intellectual property claims, enforcement, and protection.

It’s unfortunate that marijuana reform has always first required removing stigma. But the urgent need to protect both the lives and livelihoods of small marijuana businesses could provide the necessary push for global institutions to accelerate international reform.

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