Attorney Article

An Expert Analysis of the SAFE Banking Act

MG Magazine, Legal & Politics

June 3, 2019

Authors: Ian A. Stewart, Ruben Espinosa

Ian Stewart (Partner-Los Angeles) and Ruben Espinosa (Associate-White Plains) contributed “An Expert Analysis of the SAFE Banking Act” to the June 3, 2019, issue of MG Magazine. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which now has more than 200 co-sponsors in Congress, arguably addresses the issue of liability under anti-money-laundering laws, but may not go far enough to address other potential liability under other federal laws such as RICO and the Controlled Substances Act. Ian and Ruben point out that without broader protections, financial institutions may continue to defer providing the full suite of bank services to cannabis-related businesses. They discuss banking protections, lending protections and insurance protections, and note that the bill directs the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure new Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance is consistent with the purpose and intent of the SAFE Banking Act. Although no official date has been scheduled, the bill is expected to be reviewed by the House in the coming weeks. 

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