Veterans Back Bill Removing Financial Institution Barriers to Serving the Cannabis Sector

SAFE Banking Act “critical to eliminating stigma” and “ensuring protections for veterans’ GI Bill benefits”

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Veterans Cannabis Project Executive Director Doug Distaso released the following statement supporting the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act following House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) announcement that the bill will receive a full House vote during the last week of September:

“The SAFE Banking Act is critical to eliminating stigma around an industry that is providing essential medical treatment options for veterans. Its passage would protect our nation’s heroes from unfair denial of their GI Bill benefits and serve as a first step toward greater cannabis reform.

“The cannabis industry employs nearly a quarter of a million people and the number of veteran participants is on the rise. Recently, we’ve heard stories about veterans who were denied their hard-earned GI Bill benefits due to the VA’s fear of prosecution under federal anti-money laundering statutes if they approve a loan for someone serving in the cannabis industry.

“I hear frequently from veterans who reside in states where cannabis is legal and want to know whether taking a job in the state-legal cannabis industry – whether it be in security, operations, or beyond – will jeopardize their GI Bill benefits. At this time, I’m not able to reassure them that it won’t.

“It is unacceptable for the men and women who bravely served their country to fear being denied access to their GI Bill benefits because they are finding employment in a state-legal industry. Passage of the SAFE Banking Act would remove any ambiguity – ensuring protections for veterans’ GI Bill benefits – and would open the door to well-paying jobs for veterans in a rapidly growing industry.”

About the Veterans Cannabis Project

Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP) is dedicated to advocating on behalf of cannabis access issues for U.S. military veterans. VCP is committed to educating policymakers and the public about the value of cannabis to veterans and supporting veterans across the nation with the resources they need to understand the value of medical cannabis, know their cannabis rights, and access the tools they need to encourage federal policy change. We work daily to create a community that can heal our nation’s broken approach to cannabis and provide veterans with safe, legal access.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2019 // CONTACT: Samantha Rose - 202-713-0278