The US House of Representatives has approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act aimed at easing banking restrictions placed on the cannabis industry.

It passed by 321 votes to 101.

The act would provide safe harbour for financial institutions to work with cannabis operators, protecting banks and credit unions from federal prosecution when operating with cannabis companies compliant with their state’s laws.

Currently, traditional lines of capital from financial institutions are unavailable because cannabis is still illegal at a federal level. The act would allow these banks to work with operators in states where cannabis is legal.

It has now passed the House of Representatives four times, with a previous version failing to clear a Senate committee in 2019 and never reaching then-President Donald Trump’s desk.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has told reporters President Joe Biden supports the decriminalisation of cannabis at a federal level while legalising it for medicinal use.