The Safe Banking Act (HR 1595), the first standalone marijuana bill to reach the House floor, passed by a vote of 321-103 and now goes on to the Senate.
The bill provides protection for banks, insurers and financial services companies doing business with companies in the cannabis industry in states where it is legal.
In addition to allowing state-authorized cannabis companies to cease using cash for transactions, which they’ve been forced to do, the bill would allow growers, sellers, and those providing ancillary services to the cannabis industry to purchase and lease real estate just like any other entity with the protections provided by title insurance.
The bill has the backing of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and many other organizations representing the financial services industry. Heretofore, the insurance industry was exposed to significant liability due to the differing legal status of cannabis under federal and state law.
“While the bill is not perfect,” said ALTA CEO Diane Tomb, “it does address many of the roadblocks faced by title companies that provide services to marijuana businesses. Getting these new provisions would not have been possible without the work of ALTA’s marijuana work group.”
We will keep you updated on this matter as it develops.