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New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Cannabis Banking Legislation

A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters of American voters favor legislation to permit the banks industry to offer financial services for legal cannabis companies. Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), a poll that was conducted, found that a large majority of respondents believe that allowing legal cannabis businesses to have financial access would lower the chance of robbery and other crime.

Morning Consult, a polling company, conducted the survey on behalf of ICBA. It found that 65% Americans support allowing marijuana businesses access to banking services in legal states. According to the ICBA the results indicate that there is broad support from both parties for the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act. This federal bill would provide financial services to cannabis-related companies. Although the legislation was passed seven times by the U.S. House of Representatives, it has not been approved by the Senate.

“U.S. voters have made clear that current law inhibiting access to the banking system for cannabis-related businesses has a negative impact on local communities,” ICBA president and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said in a statement from the industry group. “With a supermajority of U.S. voters voicing support for allowing cannabis-related businesses access to the banking system, the Senate should act now on bipartisan cannabis banking legislation that the House has passed seven times.”

SAFE Banking Act allows banks and other financial institutions the ability to provide traditional business banking services for legal cannabis businesses. Current regulations restrict access to such financial services as checking accounts, loans, payroll, and checking account. Few banks and other financial institutions will work with legal cannabis companies. Critics argue that current policies force cannabis businesses to keep their cash in large amounts, making them more vulnerable to crime and robbery.

In 2013, Ed Perlmutter, a Democratic Representative from Colorado introduced the SAFE Banking Act to Congress. In 2013, Ed Perlmutter, a Democratic Representative from Colorado, introduced the SAFE Banking Act to Congress. The bill was passed seven times by the House of Representatives, either as a standalone bill, or attached to another legislation. This bill was most recently added as an amendment to a China Competition bill, but that bill was later deleted. The House approved either the provision or the bill for cannabis banking, but it has not been passed by the Senate.

Voters believe that the Cannabis Banking Bill will reduce crime risk

The ICBA poll found 71% of respondents believe that legal cannabis companies should be able to use the banking system to reduce risk of robbery or assault. This is a sign of how important cannabis banking access is to public safety. The majority (55%) said that financial services could be provided to weed businesses by providing them with the necessary resources. This is especially true for some of the marijuana-related companies owned or led by LGBTQ people.

Sahar Ayinehsazian, a partner in the cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg’s Los Angeles office and the co-chair of the practice’s Banking and Financial Services Access Group, agreed that public support for cannabis banking legislation suggests the issue is an important public safety issue for the electorate.

“It’s encouraging to see that 71% of voters support giving banking access to cannabis businesses – this is not only a business issue, but also a serious public safety matter. We are approaching a decade since the passage of Amendment 64, which ushered in the current model of the national cannabis industry,” Ayinehsazian wrote in an email to Chronic News. “During this decade, cannabis businesses have proven themselves to be beacons of compliance and safe and material cornerstones of their communities and economies.”

“Continuing to provide hurdles to banking access is, therefore, a harm to the community at large,” she added. “Such broad bipartisan public support is reflective of the positive impacts the cannabis industry has had nationally and should motivate the Senate to get cannabis banking done.”