Working with a number of clients in the growing cannabidiol (CBD) industry, and immersing ourselves in industry data and news, we at Aspen and Fort Lauderdale-based public relations agency Durée & Company are encouraged to hear the news that on Sept. 25, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 321 to 103. This is a major step for the CBD industry (and the entire cannabis industry)! Now, the bill goes to the Senate for a vote.
What is the SAFE Banking Act? It was designed to prohibit federal regulators from punishing financial institutions for the exclusive reason that they provide financial services to cannabis companies, their owners and employees. Originally a marijuana-only bill, it was amended to encourage U.S. banks and credit card companies to do business with hemp and CBD companies. Here’s what the bill states:
- Provides a safe harbor for hemp financial transactions, ensuring that banks and other financial institutions would not face federal punishment for those activities.
- Directs the federal financial regulators (FDIC, Federal Reserve, etc.) to issue clear, formal guidance to banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions about the legality of hemp and CBD commerce.
Currently, banking is very difficult for the CBD, hemp and marijuana industries, making it much more inconvenient than need be for these fast-growing industries. Some have to operate as a cash-only businesses. The lack of clarity regarding banking laws for these industries has unfortunately caused financial institutions to stay clear of working with CBD, hemp and marijuana companies for everyday merchant services.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, has led a 6-year effort by a group of lawmakers for cannabis banking reform. Over the years, politicians, prosecutors and financial industry associations advocated for reform, knowing that the mainly cash industry could result in public safety risks, as well as increase the possibility for financial crimes.
If the SAFE Banking Act passes the Senate, it will regulate banking practices for cannabis companies and make services such as credit card transaction processing, business loans, stock purchases and sales a seamless process. This would open up transactions to national and international banks, regulate the access to capital and create secure merchant processing.
What would it mean for the CBD industry (and cannabis industry in general) if this passes the Senate? Not only will it promote the growth of the industry, but it will help further define the industry as a mainstream marketplace. Plus, it would help to remove any stigma of the CBD and cannabis industries, and recognize them as legitimate businesses.
As the SAFE Banking Act moves to the Senate, we will be closely tracking this legislation. We understand first hand how these important decisions can impact our clients and the overall industry. Follow along with us as this story progresses. Call our Aspen office at 970.452.2195, our Fort Lauderdale office at 954.723.9350, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in marine & yacht, business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.