Sinema Leads Introduction of Bipartisan SAFER Banking Act

Sep 20, 2023

Following weeks leading bipartisan negotiations, Sinema applauds advancement of revised bill ensuring legal cannabis businesses have access to banking services

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan SAFER Banking Act following her work helping lead months of negotiations to ensure broad, bipartisan support for the bill. Specifically, Sinema convened a bipartisan working group to thoughtfully resolve outstanding concerns with the legislation that were preventing it from earning consideration by the Committee.

The SAFER Banking Act, of which Sinema is an original cosponsor, ensures legal cannabis businesses in Arizona and across the country can have access to basic banking and insurance services, making communities safer and expanding economic opportunities. Without access to banking services, cannabis businesses are often forced to do business in cash and keep large volumes of cash on their premises. Criminals know this, making cannabis businesses targets for robberies and other crime. The bill also includes provisions to make banking less political and protect access to essential banking services for Arizona businesses.

“I promised Arizonans I’d work with anyone to deliver real, lasting results for our state, and today’s bipartisan introduction represents a promising step forward in our work to make our communities safer and expand economic opportunities for all Arizonans. By bringing lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together we bridged differences, focused on our shared goals, and demonstrated we can find a path to move this bill forward,” said Sinema, a lead negotiator during bipartisan discussions on the SAFER Banking Act. 

Most state legal medicinal and recreational cannabis businesses are denied access to the banking system because banks fear they may be prosecuted under federal law. Sinema’s bipartisan bill ensures cannabis businesses have access to banking and insurance services, which will strengthen public safety, protect banks from penalties or prosecution for providing banking services to legal cannabis businesses, and expand economic opportunities.

The text of the legislation can be viewed HERE.

A section-by-section summary can be viewed HERE.