The Teamsters are endorsing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which today got a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The bipartisan legislation will protect workers and improve public safety by allowing legal cannabis businesses access to banking services.
“There are thousands of people working at cannabis proprietors in 38 states, including many who are our members,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “These workers deserve a safe workplace that provides meaningful wages, health care, and access to retirement security. The SAFE Banking act will allow these workers to engage in a meaningful partnership with their employer by removing archaic and non-sensical regulations that the industry is currently subjected to.”
Without access to traditional banking services, legal cannabis businesses are forced to operate almost entirely in cash. This puts workers at risk of robbery and violence, enables wage theft, and makes it harder for public officials to enforce state and local regulations.
Cannabis workers also often find it onerous to secure mortgages or access to basic banking because financial institutions are overly and unfairly cautious about the source of their income.
“The SAFE Banking Act will create a safer and more secure work environment for the cannabis industry,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Food Processing Division Director. “It will bring one of our country’s largest cash crops out of the shadows and into the mainstream, making it easier for the industry’s many highly skilled workers to stay in this craft and build long-term, prosperous careers.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.