Perlmutter’s SAFE Banking Act, Wildfire Research Amendments Included in House-passed America COMPETES Act

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) applauded the passage of the America COMPETES Act which included two important provisions authored by Perlmutter, the SAFE Banking Act and an additional wildfire research focus in the National Science Foundation for the Future Act. 

The inclusion of the SAFE Banking Act in the America COMPETES Act marks the sixth time the landmark legislation has passed the U.S. House. Most recently, SAFE Banking passed the U.S. House as part of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act in December 2021. Despite having significant support in the Senate with 40 bipartisan cosponsors, the legislation still has not been taken up in the U.S. Senate.
 
“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. The SAFE Banking Act is the best opportunity to enact some type of federal cannabis reform this year and will serve as the first of many steps to help ensure cannabis businesses are treated the same as any other legal, legitimate business,” said Perlmutter. “I’m glad to see it included in the America COMPETES Act and I will keep pushing to ensure it remains in the final package negotiated with the Senate.”

The SAFE Banking Act would allow marijuana-related businesses in states with some form of legalized marijuana and strict regulatory structures to access the banking system and reduce the public safety risk in communities across the country. The U.S. cannabis industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, with the current value estimated at $17.7 billion, a substantial amount of which remains unbanked. As of January 2021, the legal cannabis industry supports 321,000 jobs across the country. The legal U.S. cannabis market is projected to reach $30 billion by 2025. The SAFE Banking Act of 2021 is also championed by U.S. Reps. Warren Davidson (R-OH), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and David Joyce (R-OH). 

In addition, Perlmutter successfully included a second amendment during the Science, Space and Technology Committee’s markup of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act to expand the NSF wildfire risk and resilience research.  This legislation is a key component of the America COMPETES Act, and Perlmutter’s provision ensures NSF’s wildfire research includes a focus on wildfire science and the impact wildfires have on air quality, human behavior, and how to improve early detection.

“Colorado just experienced the most destructive wildfire in our state’s history making it more important than ever we improve our understanding of wildfires so we can better prepare for and mitigate the effects of wildfires to protect peoples’ lives, their homes, and our natural resources,” said Perlmutter. “This amendment will ensure NSF supports researchers, like those at the University of Colorado, to further their work in wildfire science.”

Perlmutter voted for the America COMPETES Act to make transformational new investments in research, innovation and American manufacturing to ensure that America can continue to be a beacon of excellence in science and technology in the world. 

“The America COMPETES Act is a commitment to reinvest in and refocus on U.S. leadership in science, innovation, and competitiveness.  These investments are critically needed and will set us on a strong path to compete globally in innovation and technology for decades to come,” said Perlmutter.

Specifically, the America COMPETES Act will ensure a significant increase in funding for Manufacturer’s Edge, Colorado’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program as well as ensure science agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are well-equipped to succeed in the 21st Century. In addition, the America COMPETES Act will:
• Create the CHIPS for America Fund to address supply chain disruptions and ensure more semiconductors are produced here at home; 
• Strengthen the supply chain and American manufacturing to help prevent shortages of critical goods and ensure more of these goods are made here in the U.S.; 
• Advance American scientific research, technology and innovation excellence; and,
• Secure and promote America’s global competitiveness and leadership by standing up for American values, expand investments in diplomacy and promote human rights.

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