Gov. Polis, Lt. Gov. Primavera, AG Weiser, Treasurer Young Urge Congress to Pass Perlmutter’s SAFE Banking Act
Passage & enactment of the SAFE Banking Act will protect cannabis-related businesses, support minority, women, and veteran-owned small businesses owners, create jobs, and strengthen public safety in Colorado communities and in the states
DENVER - Today, Governor Polis, Lt. Governor Primavera, Attorney General Weiser, and State Treasurer Young, Stan Hilkey Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Safety sent a letter to Congressional Leadership urging them to pass the SAFE Banking Act, sponsored by Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter. The U.S. House of Representatives has now passed the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act seven times and has significant bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate.
“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law. Further, the lack of safe banking exacerbates the uneven playing field faced by small and minority-owned cannabis businesses, despite their serving the same communities and being subject to the same increased state regulation as other cannabis businesses in the State. The bipartisan SAFE Banking Act provides a critical pathway for banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to offer broad scope banking services to legally-operating, state regulated cannabis businesses without fear of punishment by federal regulators, while also enhancing transparency by providing broader access to reliable sources of information for purposes of regulatory oversight,” the Colorado statewide officials write to Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders.
“Colorado prides itself on being a trailblazer in the cannabis industry, having enacted the first formative legal medical use framework in the country in November 2000, leading to the first regulated medical model a decade later and subsequently the first adult-use framework in 2012. Colorado’s regulatory cannabis laws have supported our ability to carefully navigate the conflict between our thoughtful, voter-approved laws and the federal Controlled Substances Act. We are proud of the robust cannabis structure established in our state that protects public safety, supports responsible innovation and importantly, enhances the myriad economic development and social benefits the industry has provided to all Coloradans, especially minority-, women-, and veteran-owned small businesses. This industry has served as a model internationally and helped to make Colorado an even stronger part of our nation’s overall competitiveness and contributor to our nation’s deficit reduction efforts. However, all of these successes are undermined and, in fact, nullified for many businesses by their lack of access to federally-insured banking services and electronic payment processing, among other services currently available to less regulated businesses,” the letter from Governor Polis, Lt. Governor Primavera, Attorney General Weiser, Treasurer Young, and Director Hilkey continues.
“The House of Representatives has now passed the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act seven times. The Senate similarly reflects a strong showing of bipartisan co-sponsors, with 31 Democrats, nine Republicans, and two Independent co-sponsors. We applaud and support larger efforts between the House and the Senate to address legalization and reform nationally. However, we understand such efforts continue to be ongoing and that the pathway toward enactment is uncertain at this time. Therefore, given the demonstrated broad support for the SAFE Banking Act, coupled with the undeniably strong public policy demands for the immediate relief this legislation will provide, we strongly urge you to take action now and ensure that licensed cannabis businesses have access to banking and financial services. Passage and enactment of the SAFE Banking Act will protect cannabis-related businesses, support minority-, women-, and veteran-owned small businesses owners, create jobs, and strengthen public safety in our communities and in the states. We urge Congress to take real stories, such as those in our state of Colorado, to heart and to efficiently prioritize policy approaches that promote safe banking and public safety,” the letter from Governor Polis, Lt. Governor Primavera, Attorney General Weiser, Treasurer Young, and Director Hilkey concludes.