History was made when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act by a 321 to 103 vote. With 33 states legalizing some form of recreational and/or medical cannabis, this vote is an important first step toward legitimizing banking services and creating a safe, compliant and equitable banking system for the entire cannabis industry.
While the SAFE Banking Act would let federally insured financial institutions serve marijuana-related businesses, as a high-risk industry with decades of black-market legacy funds, the AML and BSA risk for financial institutions serving this industry is still extremely high. Compliance is a complicated and difficult task and doing it accurately and as efficiently as possible is paramount. Even with federal protection, FinCEN will have to continue to provide regulatory clarity. In turn, financial institutions must adopt compliance, risk management, and operational best practices that enable them to serve MRBs safely, compliantly, and at scale. Shield is uniquely positioned to help financial institutions understand and meet the enhanced due diligence requirements that are necessary to serve this industry safely and compliantly.
We are encouraged by the House vote and encourage the full Congress to acknowledge the need for federally protected banking services for this industry. Please join us in urging the Senate to follow the House lead and pass the SAFE Banking Act.