Senator Sherrod Brown Says Marijuana Banking Bill Could Get A Hearing Next Week

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) said on Thursday that a hearing on bipartisan banking could happen as soon as next week, reported Marijuana Moment.

Brown, Senate Banking Committee Chairman, told NBC News reporters that his panel could hold a hearing on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act as soon as next Thursday, May 11, adding that lawmakers are intending to “move quickly on it.”

Last week a group of bipartisan lawmakers refiled the cannabis banking bill. Senators Jeff Merkley (D) and Steve Daines (R) along with Ohio Rep David Joyce (R) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2023.

Why It Matters

Under the proposed bill, financial institutions would be allowed to provide banking and financial services to legal cannabis businesses. 

“This legislation will save lives and livelihoods. It is past time that Congress addresses the irrational, unfair, and unsafe prohibition of basic banking services to state-legal cannabis businesses,” Blumenauer, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus said at the time. “The House has passed the SAFE Banking Act on a bipartisan basis seven times. I am delighted that the Senate is joining us in making it a priority.”

Indeed, the SAFE Banking Act has passed the House seven times with broad bipartisan support.

Merkley tweeted on Thursday that he and Daines “reintroduced the bipartisan SAFE Banking Act to reform outdated laws that force legal cannabis businesses to operate entirely in cash—a dangerous system that puts employees and communities at risk.”

“We have a path to a hearing and floor vote,” he said. “Let’s get it done!”

Photo: Sen. Sherrod Brown, courtesy of Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

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