The U.S. Senate banking committee has advanced a bill to allow legal cannabis companies access to financial services.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking bill, known as SAFER, is supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. It provides protections to banks and other financial institutions that provide services to legal cannabis businesses in states where it is legal.
The bill was voted out of committee 14-9. It’s the first time the legislation has advanced in the Senate, clearing an important hurdle and providing it with a — possibly quick — path to the Senate floor.
“Regardless about how you feel about states’ efforts to legalize marijuana, this bipartisan bill is necessary,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, a Democrat from Ohio. “It’ll make it safer for legal cannabis businesses and service providers to operate, to protect their workers first and foremost, and to operate in their communities.”
Though regulators are reviewing its…