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08/08/2022 06:31 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=36729
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 18, 2022 04:32 PM
From: Senator John DiSanto and Sen. Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: SAFE Cannabis Banking
 
Soon we will introduce companion legislation to the federal, and strongly bipartisan, Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021. The SAFE Banking Act extends the provision of financial and insurance services to state legal cannabis businesses by granting safe harbor from adverse regulatory and legal action.

While the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance in 2014 for servicing cannabis-related businesses, adherence to this guidance does not immunize financial institutions from prosecution. While some financial institutions have assumed the risks given the prevailing climate of non-enforcement, most will not bank cannabis-related businesses without legislative action.

As a result, many cannabis-related businesses are locked out of the banking system without access to financial tools and are forced to operate exclusively in cash.  This is a public safety risk as dispensaries are targets for robberies that put patients, employees, and communities at risk.

Banking challenges are not limited to just those businesses that have direct contact with the cannabis plant, but also those entities that receive payments from a cannabis firm such as real estate owners, security firms, utility providers, vendors, and employees. As the state legal cannabis industry grows, ancillary businesses will be critical to this emerging economy.

The SAFE Banking Act is designed to reduce cash-motivated crimes, improve tax collections, and spur economic growth and development. Access to the financial system for state legal cannabis businesses further ensures a safe and well-regulated market.

Please join us in cosponsoring this legislation.



Introduced as SB1167