Washington Lawmakers Bail on SAFE Banking, Again

Even with ongoing momentum from six passages in the U.S. House, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was dealt another defeat June 23.

The act, which many advocates hope will provide clarity and safe harbor to financial institutions servicing state-legal industries, was removed Thursday from the America COMPETES/USICA Act—extensive legislation that involves a historic investment to surge production of American-made goods and tackle supply-chain vulnerabilities to increase global competitiveness, among other priorities.

Passing SAFE Banking would improve safety and opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people and foster economic development in a majority of states, reform group NORML’s Political Director Morgan Fox said in a news release Thursday.

“It is mind-boggling that this is now the sixth time that SAFE Banking has been approved by the House but stalled by the Senate,” Fox said. “This narrowly tailored, incremental, and necessary legislation has broad bipartisan support in both chambers, and it is incredibly disappointing that politics continue to get in the way of saving lives and helping struggling small businesses disrupt and ultimately replace the underground market. If there is a legislative version of the Twilight Zone, the SAFE Banking Act seems to be stuck in it at this point.”

SAFE Banking passed the U.S. House five times between 2019 and 2021, including twice as a standalone bill, but stalled before making headway in the each time. That’s despite the bill’s author, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, receiving broad bipartisan support in his chamber each

More Washington Lawmakers Bail on SAFE Banking, Again