VIDEO: Pingree Speaks on Floor as House Passes Landmark Bill to Provide Financial Services to Marijuana Businesses
Washington, September 26, 2019
Last night, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) spoke on the US House floor in support of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (HR 1595), the first legislation approved by the House to permit federally-insured financial institutions to work with marijuana-related businesses in states where the sale of cannabis is legal. Pingree is an original cosponsor of HR 1595, which passed with bipartisan support by a 321-103 vote.
In her floor remarks, Pingree said, “Just yesterday, a banker from southern Maine contacted me out of regret. The bank had to close a long-time customer’s account when they found out he was a delivery driver for a LEGAL marijuana producer. Due to potential federal liability, the bank lost a customer. The citizen lost his trusted financial institution. Does he have to keep his earnings under a mattress? This makes no sense. The SAFE Banking Act will fix this problem by allowing lenders to legally serve marijuana businesses. It promotes security by ensuring transactions are done through regulated institutions, not with bags of cash.”
Watch or download Pingree’s floor speech here.
Pingree is an original cosponsor of the SAFE Banking Act. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Pingree advocated for a provision in the FY2020 funding bill to accomplish the goals of the SAFE Banking Act and allow marijuana-related businesses to use federally-backed banks and credit unions. This provision was approved by the full House in June, but may not be necessary if the Senate passes HR 1595 and is signed into law by the President.