Key marijuana banking vote set for next week in Congress


A U.S. House committee vote scheduled for Tuesday could advance a bill to get cannabis industry cash off the streets and into bank accounts. Called the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, the measure would allow banks to service those cannabis companies that comply with state laws.

The vote is likely to come on March 26 and the measure — known as the SAFE Banking Act — will probably pass, analysts say, even though some Republicans are said to have raised questions about measures designed to prevent money laundering and ensure compliance with bank secrecy laws.

Cowen analyst Jaret Seiberg still expects the March 26 vote, he wrote in a note dated March 21, but wouldn’t be alarmed if there’s a delay to address questions from Reps. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., about the bill’s impact.

Seiberg noted Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., hasn’t signaled she wants to slow the process, though she might hold another hearing if McHenry were to pledge to back the bill, pending more clarity. “McHenry is right that there is uncertainty about whether the SAFE Act is a perfect fix,” Seiberg said. “Solving this now would ensure that the bill which eventually passes is more useful.” [Read more at Chicago Tribune]