Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has signed a bill intended to protect banking institutions and insurance companies who work with medical cannabis firms in the state from prosecution, Marijuana Moment reports. Originally a standalone Senate bill that passed the Republican-controlled Senate and later the House, also Republican-controlled, the bill was later attached to a non-cannabis banking bill as an amendment.
The measure only protects banks and insurers who work with medical cannabis companies from state interference, not federal, the report says.
The legislation says a “financial institution (and insurers) authorized to engage in business in this Commonwealth may provide financial services to or for the benefit of a legitimate cannabis-related business and the business associates of a legitimate cannabis-related business.” It does not, however, require a bank or insurance company to take on cannabis-related clients.
The U.S. House passed what is known as the SAFE Banking Act in early February 2022 as an amendment to the China Competition bill, after it passed the legislation as a standalone measure in April 2021 and after it was eventually removed from the 2022 defense spending bill. At the time it passed in February, bill sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) noted the need for the reforms.
“Cannabis-related businesses — big and small — and their employees are in desperate need of access to the banking system and access to capital in order to operate in an efficient, safe manner and compete in the growing global cannabis marketplace,” Perlmutter said in a statement.
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Pennsylvania Gov. Signs Bill Protecting Financial Institutions Serving Cannabis Firms