In Support of the SAFE Banking Act

Adopted at the 90th Annual Meeting in 2022

  • WHEREAS, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of November 2021, 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis use; 37 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis; and 22 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia have decriminalized cannabis; and

    WHEREAS, the conflict between state law and the illegality of cannabis under federal law creates significant challenges and barriers for legally-owned and operated recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries and cannabis-related companies; and

    WHEREAS, cannabis companies are unable to access banking services that financial institutions and insurers offer to other businesses due to the potential for severe criminal and civil penalties; and

    WHEREAS, recreational and medicinal cannabis dispensaries and cannabis-related companies are forced to rely on cash-only transactions, often making them targets of criminal activity; and

    WHEREAS, representatives from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that one in every two cannabis dispensaries has been robbed or burglarized, with the total value of stolen goods in a single theft totaling on average between $20,000 and $50,000; and

    WHEREAS, the frequency of these burglaries and robberies has increased and become more volatile in nature, resulting in severe injuries and even death to employees and posing a public safety threat to communities across the country; and

    WHEREAS, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021 (H.R. 1996 / S. 910) introduced by Representative Ed Permutter and Senator Jeff Merkley would prohibit federal banking regulators from seeking criminal or civil penalties for financial institutions providing services to cannabis-related companies; and

    WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act of 2021 as an amendment to the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act in February with substantial bipartisan support,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act of 2021 to provide financial security for cannabis dispensaries and related companies and enhance public safety,

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors supports federal legislation legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis and the adult use of recreational cannabis, including the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 3617) and the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA).

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