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Michigan Credit Union League

House Passage of SAFE Banking Act Gives Credit Unions Much Needed Clarity

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act in a historic 321-103 vote. The bill, which was first introduced in the House in March, will provide a safe harbor and far more certainty for credit unions that choose to provide financial services to cannabis-related businesses in those states that have legalized its use. This passage marks a big victory for credit unions and the CUNA/League system.

“Today’s landmark vote will help credit unions keep communities across the country safe and serve those state-legalized businesses previously left in the lurch,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We offer our congratulations and appreciation to Representatives Perlmutter, Heck, Stivers, Davidson and others who have worked on this critical issue for so long. Our work is not done: We are ready to work in the Senate to advance legislation on this issue to the President’s desk.”

Credit unions have been on the front lines advocating for legal clarity between state and federal laws to protect financial institutions that deal with legal businesses, both directly and indirectly. CUNA and MCUL have consistently called on Congress to pass this bill and bring legal cannabis-related businesses out of the underground economy.

“The SAFE Banking Act has been a priority of MCUL since it was introduced,” said MCUL President/CEO Dave Adams. “Without federal action regarding cannabis banking, Michigan credit unions lacked the clarity and safety they needed to engage with many small businesses in the state, which left many cannabis business owners to operate solely in cash. The League is pleased to see our lawmakers respond to our advocacy efforts and recognize the need for a safe banking harbor.”

The legislation was co-sponsored in the House by Michigan U.S. Reps. Kildee, Upton, Slotkin, Levin, Dingell, Lawrence, Tlaib, and Stevens. Also voting in favor were U.S. Reps. Amash and Mitchell. The bill now travels to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

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2019-09-26 00:00:00