Cannabis Legislation Would Protect Producers, Insurers
Producers and insurers could receive federal protection for providing services to cannabis-related industries deemed legal at the state level, which would open the door to new markets. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee last week passed H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act of 2019.
The bill addresses the disparity between federal law, under which cannabis is considered illegal, and the majority of states that have legalized some form of marijuana use. Delaware legalized the use of medical marijuana (subject to certain restrictions) in 2011, and a bill to legalize recreational marijuana fell just four votes short of passing the Delaware House in June 2018.
The legislation’s stated purpose is to create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses. Your federal government affairs team – the Big “I” – was instrumental in ensuring that protection for agents and brokers was included in the version of the bill passed by the committee. (Read a joint letter from the insurance industry, including the Big “I”, to the bill’s sponsors.)
The legislation – sponsored by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado), Denny Heck (D-Washington), and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) – now moves to the full House for consideration.