In great news for the cannabis industry and community, the Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking (SAFE) Act was added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the United States House of Representatives on a voice vote yesterday, setting up passage by the House once again. The SAFE Banking Act has been approved previously by the lower chamber, but hasn’t been able to move in the Senate yet, but the common-sense proposal joining NDAA greatly increases its odds of moving out of Congress and onto the president’s desk.
The SAFE Act is greatly needed for retailers, especially for craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf as they are forced to operate as cash-only, either without access to bank accounts or forced to pay extra fees. The burden of operating with so much cash then hinders relationships with vendors and other partners, not to mention the lack of other financial services that are usually available to businesses remain out of reach currently for most of the industry. These extra fees and the additional worker hours that it takes to jump through unnecessary hoops then have to get passed onto the consumer.
“The U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday night approved a bill that would let banks to do business with cannabis companies without fear of penalty, giving traction to the least-disputed reform sought by the growing industry.
“The so-called SAFE Banking Act would be a boon for marijuana companies, which have so-far been stymied by the necessity to deal in cash because of federal restrictions. That has meant they have extra security costs and logistical problems, even as marijuana increasingly becomes legal. Some three dozen states now allow medical or recreational use, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis research firm.
“Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, who had re-introduced the bill, has said that allowing cannabis businesses to access the banking system would bring more money into the economy and offer the opportunity to create good-paying jobs. The American cannabis industry had $20.3 billion in legal sales in 2020, according New Frontier Data.”
In addition to the positive financial implications, the SAFE Act is desperately needed to address public safety concerns that currently plague the industry. Too many dispensaries have been robbed already as criminals assume that retailers are forced to have cash on hand as most aren’t able to take debit and credit cards. Unfortunately, forcing the industry to be cash-only has already had tragic consequences in Oregon.
While the future of the SAFE Act is uncertain in the Senate, this is another step in the right direction. Hopefully, Senators will understand the benefits to our economy and public safety and will do the right thing this time.
Kind Leaf is looking forward to passing along even more savings to our amazing customers once the SAFE Act is passed. In the meantime, we offer the best selection, deals, and discounts possible. Please see our menu on Leafly.