With a House vote on Democratic leadership’s latest coronavirus relief package expected on Friday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is making the case for a provision he’s championing that would protect banks that service marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.
During a Rules Committee hearing on Thursday evening—and then on the floor the following morning—the congressman stressed that while some Republican lawmakers have argued the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act doesn’t have a place in a COVID-19 bill, the legislation would actually protect public health by reducing the threat of spreading the virus through cash transactions.
“Cannabis businesses across the country have been deemed essential during this pandemic, and these businesses and their estimated 243,000 employees deserve equity with other legal businesses,” he said. “The SAFE Banking Act would address the increased health risk of spreading COVID-19 on bank notes and coins as well as the increased public risk in this cash-only industry. This bill will help protect jobs and safe lending in our communities.”