After nearly a decade of conversation and education on the Hill, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee finally held a markup on the Secure and Fair Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act. Previously known as the SAFE Banking Act, the “R” was included to account for Sen. Jack Reed’s (D-RI) concerns with Section 10. The senator shared his concerns publicly on May 11 during the “Examining Cannabis Banking Challenges of Small Businesses and Workers” hearing. Sen. Reed said that Section 10’s language “would make it more difficult for federal regulators to raise the alarm about relationships with any customer that presents significant risks to the bank” and shared that such a provision is “not limited to the marijuana industry or the cannabis industry,” but that it “could allow pyramid schemes or all sorts of other interesting activity to go on without an effective response by the regulator.” Since then, he and a group of bipartisan members, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), have worked endlessly to develop language to resolve such concerns while maintaining GOP support, leading to the SAFER Banking Act.
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