Enrolled HJR 14: Supporting the passage by the United States Congress of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, sec. 110606 of the Heroes Act, or similar legislation relating to cannabis-related legitimate businesses' access to financial services.
00Enrolled HJR 14 01 Supporting the passage by the United States Congress of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, 02 sec. 110606 of the Heroes Act, or similar legislation relating to cannabis-related legitimate 03 businesses' access to financial services. 04 _______________ 05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 WHEREAS, on November 4, 2014, residents of the state voted to legalize cannabis, 07 approving Ballot Measure No. 2, "An Act to tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of 08 marijuana"; and 09 WHEREAS the state has prioritized the federal cannabis enforcement objectives 10 identified in the August 29, 2013, memorandum from the United States Department of Justice 11 to all United States Attorneys, including preventing the distribution of cannabis to minors, 12 preventing revenue from the sale of cannabis from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and 13 cartels, preventing the diversion of cannabis from states where cannabis is legal in some form 14 under state law to other states, preventing state-authorized cannabis activity from being used 15 as a pretext for the trafficking of illegal drugs or other illegal activity, preventing violence and 16 the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of cannabis, preventing drugged driving
01 and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with cannabis 02 use, preventing the growing of cannabis on public land and the attendant public safety and 03 environmental dangers posed by cannabis production on public land, and preventing cannabis 04 possession or use on federal property; and 05 WHEREAS the state has implemented regulations that respect and support the federal 06 priorities listed in the August 29, 2013, memorandum from the United States Department of 07 Justice; and 08 WHEREAS, on January 16, 2018, Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth and the 09 attorneys general of 18 other states, districts, and territories sent a letter urging the United 10 States Congress to advance legislation allowing states that have legalized medical or 11 recreational use of cannabis to bring legal cannabis-related commerce into the banking 12 system; and 13 WHEREAS, on January 18, 2018, United States Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan 14 Sullivan joined 14 other senators from around the country in submitting a letter to the Director 15 of the United States Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 16 expressing continuing support for 2014 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network guidance on 17 Bank Secrecy Act expectations regarding cannabis-related businesses; and 18 WHEREAS, on March 7, 2019, after meeting with industry stakeholders in Alaska, 19 United States Congressman Don Young, Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, 20 signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 21 2019, also referred to as the SAFE Banking Act of 2019; and 22 WHEREAS, on May 8, 2019, Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson and the 23 attorneys general of 37 other states, districts, and territories sent a letter urging the United 24 States Congress to advance legislation allowing states that have legalized medical or adult use 25 of cannabis to bring legal cannabis-related commerce into the banking system; and 26 WHEREAS, on September 25, 2019, United States Congressman Don Young voted 27 with a bipartisan majority in the United States House of Representatives, passing the SAFE 28 Banking Act of 2019 and clearing the Act for consideration in the Senate; and 29 WHEREAS the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 was inserted into sec. 110606 of H.R. 30 6800, referred to as the Heroes Act, which, on May 15, 2020, was passed by a bipartisan 31 majority in the United States House of Representatives; and
01 WHEREAS sec. 1(b) of the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and sec. 110606(a)(2) of the 02 Heroes Act explain that the purpose of each is "to increase public safety by ensuring access to 03 financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers and reducing 04 the amount of cash at such businesses"; and 05 WHEREAS the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and the Heroes Act provide, among other 06 protections, a safe harbor for depository institutions for providing financial services to a 07 cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider; and 08 WHEREAS the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and the Heroes Act provide that "[f]or 09 the purposes of sections 1956 and 1957 [money laundering] of title 18, United States Code, 10 and all other provisions of Federal law, the proceeds from a transaction involving activities of 11 a cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider shall not be considered proceeds 12 from an unlawful activity solely because . . . the transaction involves proceeds from a 13 cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider"; and 14 WHEREAS the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and the Heroes Act provide that 15 depository institutions or insurers that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate 16 businesses or service providers and the officers, directors, and employees of depository 17 institutions or insurers may not be held liable under any federal law or regulation solely for 18 providing the financial service or for further investing any income derived from the financial 19 services; and 20 WHEREAS the SAFE Banking Act of 2019 and the Heroes Act do not endorse any 21 state's, district's, or territory's specific approach to the legalization of cannabis-related 22 transactions and in no way endorse the legalization of medical or retail cannabis in 23 jurisdictions that choose not to legalize medical or retail cannabis; and 24 WHEREAS, without federal legislation allowing states that have legalized medical or 25 adult use of cannabis to bring legal cannabis-related commerce into the banking system, the 26 tracking of revenue for taxation and regulatory compliance purposes is more difficult; and 27 WHEREAS the inability to properly track the billions of dollars in legal cannabis- 28 related sale proceeds compromises the safety and soundness of the nation's financial system 29 by allowing the unmonitored entry of illicit funds into the financial system; and 30 WHEREAS the threat to public safety increases with cash-intensive businesses 31 because cash-intensive businesses are often the targets of criminal activity; and
01 WHEREAS the cannabis industry continues to grow rapidly, with analysts estimating 02 the current industry value at $8,300,000,000, projected to increase to $25,000,000,000 by 03 2025; and 04 WHEREAS, regardless of policy views on states' permitting the medical or adult use 05 of cannabis, the current situation necessitates federal rules that provide for bringing legal 06 cannabis-related commerce into the banking system; 07 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the federal government to 08 adopt the SAFE Banking Act of 2019, sec. 110606 of the Heroes Act, or similar legislation 09 that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions that provide financial products or 10 services to legal cannabis-related businesses or service providers in states that have 11 implemented laws and regulations legalizing cannabis for medical or adult use. 12 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, President 13 of the United States; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. 14 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 15 delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 117th United States Congress.