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Governors urge Congress to pass SAFE Banking Act to open up banking services for cannabis companies

Originally posted on MarketWatch
November 10, 2021 | Steve Gelsi

A group of 23 governors plus the mayor of the District of Columbia led by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis have signed a letter to Congress supporting the SAFE Banking Act to open up the banking system to cannabis companies. “Medical and recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. were estimated to total $17.5 billion last year, but because of antiquated federal banking regulations, almost all cannabis transactions are cash-based,” said the Tuesday dated letter, which was addressed to the leaders in both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. “Not only are cash-only businesses targets for crime, cannabis businesses are further disadvantaged compared to other legal businesses by being unable to open bank accounts or obtain loans at reasonable rates.” The signers include four Republican governors – Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Doug Burgum of South Dakota, Spencer Cox of Utah and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts – with the rest Democrats. While the House has approved the SAFE Banking Act five times, it has yet clear the Senate. In September, lawmakers included the SAFE Banking bill in the U.S. House of Representative’s annual defense bill, which is routinely approved by the end of each year. The overall measure has not yet been OK’d. The Cannabis ETF THCX, -3.43% fell 2% on Wednesday afternoon.