SAFE Act advances out of House Financial Services Committee

H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE) of 2019 has advanced out of the House Financial Services Committee with a 45-15 bipartisan majority vote.  This bill creates protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.

In Florida, CFO Jimmy Patronis is backing the bill which would open up options for financial services for the medical marijuana industry according to floridapolitics.com.

“Legitimate Florida businesses in our medical marijuana industry face incredible security threats and increased opportunity for criminal activity due to the troubling lack of banking solutions,” Patronis said. “At no fault of their own, medical marijuana companies operating in our state are doing so as cash-only businesses and this is unacceptable.”

Eight co-sponsors of the bill are from Florida –  Rep. Kathy Castor (D-14); Rep. Charlie Crist (D-13); Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-20); Rep. Al Lawson (D-5); Rep. Darren Soto (D-9); Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-1); Rep. Ted Deutch (D-22) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-7).

Three amendments were approved on the bill Wednesday evening, according to sources close to the LSCU. These include one that extends safe harbor to insurers, one that makes it explicit that newly chartered credit unions and banks are covered, and one requiring a GAO study on related SARs.  The final amendment may help credit unions down the road in regarding BSA reforms.  More to come as this bill advances.