ABA to Crapo: Focus on marijuana banking issues

Bankers want lawmakers to focus on the SAFE Banking Act. CU groups are expected to send their recommendations soon.

Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Id.) should abandon efforts to address wide marijuana policy questions and instead concentrate on the financial services implications, the American Bankers Association said.

“While we appreciate that there is a wide universe of cannabis-related public policy concerns that require the attention of Congress, we strongly urge the Committee to maintain the narrow focus of the SAFE Banking Act on enabling the provision of basic financial services to state-sanctioned businesses,” James Ballentine, ABA’s executive vice president of congressional relations and political affairs wrote in a letter to Crapo.

The SAFE Banking Act is the House-passed legislation that calls for a safe harbor for financial institutions wishing to provide services to marijuana-related businesses.

The ABA and CUNA have endorsed the legislation, but Crapo said he is opposed to it because it does not address the broader implications of cannabis legalization. NAFCU has not taken a position on the legislation.


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