Will the SAFE Act or a similar federal protection for cannabis banking be approved in 2023?
Sundie Seefried | CEO |Safe Harbor Financial
It’s likely we will see some traction on legislation in 2023. I am more confident that this will entail legislation surrounding safe banking versus legalization or rescheduling at this point. The issue with the Safe Banking legislation is that it won’t necessarily provide the cannabis industry what they need to truly succeed and thrive on a global level. The language within the bill doesn’t go far enough to ensure complete access to the financial system nor does it level the playing field between normal commercial activity and that of the federally illegal market of cannabis.
Arun Kurichety | Chief operations officer | Petalfast
I don’t believe the SAFE Act or a similar type of federal protection for cannabis banking will be approved in 2023. The federal government has a lot of other priorities right now. And while the Democrats have control of the Senate, they don’t have a super majority that would allow them to overcome Republican opposition, particularly given Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s outspoken resistance to cannabis reform.
Snowden Stieber | Regulatory analyst | Simplifya
It’s extremely hard to envision a scenario in 2023 that would bring about a different result than what’s happened with the previous few attempts to pass cannabis banking legislation. Even if a GOP-led House manages to work with Democrats to pass SAFE again – a very questionable proposition in itself – there is no indication that the dynamics in the Senate have changed enough to warrant hope in that body to alter its response.
Patrick Rea | Managing director | Poseidon Garden Fund
With the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, there is very little probability that cannabis industry banking reform gets air in D.C. Congress will have its hands full looking in the rearview mirror of SVB’s collapse to understand what regulators, auditors and executives did or didn’t do to enable the second largest banking failure in U.S. history.
Angela Pih | Head of marketing | Statehouse Holdings
Collectively, the cannabis industry has spent years being optimistic about SAFE and other cannabis bills. Given that SAFE has not passed, cannabis companies should continue to position their businesses to grow without the financial services and support that SAFE would provide. Based on the current state of Congress and with an election year coming up in 2024, we’re about 36 months out from SAFE banking coming back up in Congress.
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