SAFE Banking dropped from Military spending bill

By Alex Halperin
Dec 9, 2021
Still shut to the cannabiz

Banking reform got set back when the House of Representatives dropped it from a must-pass military spending bill. While industry group U.S. Cannabis Council supported passing the bill, it’s controversial among those focused on equity.

Chris Roberts explains in Forbes:

  • “Advocates divide into two rough camps: [Some think] SAFE Banking is a social-equity measure that’s needed right now, [others argue] the Senate is making a huge mistake; SAFE Banking just helps big businesses and doesn’t guarantee access to capital for black and brown entrepreneurs anyway and is a half-measure at best.”

In a Marijuana Moment op-ed, Minority Cannabis Business Association president Kaliko Castille writes it’s safe banking or nothing.

  • Now that it didn’t pass, he thinks any kind of reform could be years off.

Oakland equity activist and entrepreneur Amber Senter thinks that in this case nothing is the better option

  • “I felt like it [SAFE Banking] was being rushed,” she said in an interview. “The whole ‘well, it’s not perfect, but it’s something’ approach has never helped Black or Brown people.
  • She also doubts big business would keep lobbying for legalization if banking reform passed. “They don’t want legalization,” she said. “They just want to make it easier on their bottom line, and legalization does not do that for them. Legalization invites competition.”

Despite the defeat, an Insider analyst argues banking reform has long-term momentum.