Credit Union Associations Urge Cannabis Banking Reform
Three credit union associations have partnered in a letter sharing their support for the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act that was included in the House version of FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act ahead of the Senate floor consideration of the measure. The Credit Union National Association, Defense Credit Union Council and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions addressed the letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
The letter, in part, reads:
“We take no position on legalizing or decriminalizing medicinal or recreational cannabis at either the state or federal level. However, credit unions operating in states where it is legal have members and member businesses involved in the cannabis market who need access to traditional depository and lending services, the absence of which creates a significant public safety issue.
“Additionally, financial institutions that choose not to bank the cannabis industry still risk unknowingly serving those businesses in states where cannabis is legal. Indirect connections are often difficult to identify and avoid because like any other industry, those offering cannabis-related services work with vendors and suppliers. Under the existing status quo, a credit union that does business with any one of these indirectly affiliated entities could unknowingly risk violating federal law.
“Inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act puts in place necessary protections to bring revenue from state-sanctioned cannabis businesses into the financial services mainstream and, as a result, keeping communities safe.”