A bipartisan coalition of state treasurers sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, asking that they include marijuana banking protections in the next piece of coronavirus relief legislation.
The letter, led by Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read, says that the current pandemic has underscored the need to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would protect banks that service the cannabis industry from being penalized by federal regulators.
“This provision would not only address new safety issues created by the COVID-19 crisis, but also those caused by the existing conflict between federal and state cannabis laws,” they said. “The 28,000 cannabis related legitimate businesses and their 243,700 employees, who already faced significant burdens before the pandemic, are now confronting dangerous new obstacles as they attempt to address the changed circumstances. To keep workers, patients and consumers safe, it is essential that we reduce the use of cash by creating access to financial services for these state-licensed businesses.”