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U.S. Cannabis Council Denounces Senate’s Failure to Pass SAFE Banking Act

The council says smaller cannabis operators will continue to face enormous barriers and threats to public safety will persist.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several outlets are reporting that cannabis banking reform will not be included in the omnibus funding package. Specifically, senators failed to reach a deal that would enact the SAFE Banking Act, legislation that would give legal cannabis businesses expanded access to banking and payment services.

Under current federal law, financial institutions are prohibited from providing cannabis businesses with critical tools and services like bank accounts and loans. In a statement yesterday, the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) said the "senate’s inaction on SAFE Banking in 2022 means smaller cannabis operators will continue to face enormous barriers to entry and the threats to public safety will persist in 2023 and beyond."

U.S. Cannabis Council CEO, Khadijah Tribble, released the following statement:

“In failing to enact the SAFE Banking Act, the senate missed an opportunity to pass one of the rare pieces of legislation that has the support of both republicans and democrats, along with the majority of the American people. Not only did the senate squander a chance to score a bipartisan victory this year, its inaction threatens public safety and undermines the progress states are making in mending the racial inequities of the war on drugs.

"To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. But to assume the Senate’s inertia around cannabis banking reform dooms the entire cannabis industry discounts all of the headway we made this year. From the Biden administration announcing that it will conduct an official regulatory review of whether cannabis should be criminalized at all to the first standalone cannabis-related bill being signed into law to fund important research—2022 will still mark the turning point in our fight to legalize cannabis. The USCC and our partners have built a movement to end cannabis prohibition that will continue in 2023, and I have no doubt we will eventually win."

The USCC is an advocate for America's regulated cannabis industry. The council's business members include the largest cannabis companies in the nation, and its nonprofit members are leaders in cannabis policy and criminal justice reform. The USCC has more than 60 member companies and nonprofits.

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