To: Free Market Members of Congress
From: ALEC Action
Re: Support the SAFE Banking Act of 2021
ALEC Action, the 501(c)4 affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), wishes to express strong support for H.R. 1996 the Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2021. ALEC is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.
Congress has sole authority to solve the cannabis banking issue by enacting legislation that provides protections for depository institutions that offer financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses. Congress should enact common sense federal laws that respect state law and promote public safety without compromising federal enforcement of anti-money laundering laws against criminal enterprises.
- ALEC Action is not taking a position on the legalization of cannabis
- 35 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, covering 69% of the population of the United States have legalized cannabis in some form
- Businesses in these states operate legally under their state laws
- Due to the conflict between state and federal law, the vast majority of financial institutions and insurers are unwilling to provide services to cannabis-related business and those that do could be subject to severe criminal penalties
- Many legal cannabis businesses operate solely in cash because they lack banking services
- Cash-based systems are inefficient and make illicit activity more difficult for law enforcement and state regulators to track
- Banking services allow for more transparent tax compliance and tax collection for both businesses and the government
- A lack of access to financial services affects not only legitimate cannabis businesses, but the employees of that business and businesses that transact with the cannabis business
- Cannabis-related business should have access to depository institutions, financial services, and insurance similar to other businesses
- Allowing legitimate cannabis businesses to have access to financial services will bring them into the already developed regulatory process
- The U.S. House has passed the SAFE Banking Act four times most recently with a final vote of 321-101
- A bipartisan group of 21 governors have signed onto a letter in support of the SAFE Banking Act
- ALEC passed model policy in support of providing protections for insurers and depository institutions that offer financial services to cannabis-related businesses entitled: Resolution Urging Congress to Act to Provide Access to Banking and Insurance Services to Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Legal Businesses
ALEC Action urges you to support H.R. 1996. Providing federal protections will promote public safety, encourage tax compliance and respect state laws.