May 12, 2020 3:53PM

SAFE‐​ty in the Time of COVID-19

By Jeffrey Miron and Erin Partin

The House of Representatives revealed a new 1,800 page long coronavirus relief bill today. Included is a provision approving the Secure And Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Act) of 2019, which allows cannabis manufacturers and sellers in states that have legalized or medicalized marijuana, to access the banking system, develop lines of credit, and be eligible for other protections. From the bill:

“The purpose of this section is to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis‐​related legitimate businesses and service providers and reducing the amount of cash at such businesses.”

The SAFE Act was approved by the House of Representatives last October in a vote of 321–103 but has since been snarled in Senate committee hearings. While the current coronavirus relief package will likely fail in the Senate, at least some lawmakers are still trying to improve cannabis policy.