Marijuana banking bill could come this year

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The text of a marijuana banking bill is making its way through Congress

Since its inception, the legal marijuana industry has had one major problem. Out of fear of repercussions from the federal level, banks have been unwilling to embrace marijuana companies. The result is an industry that is conducted almost exclusively in cash, causing businesses to have to tighten security and also leaving them without access to financial solutions such as loans or other forms of credit that are readily handed out to other industries on a daily basis. Now, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are hoping to correct the issue and a new marijuana banking bill could be approved before the current session ends toward the end of the year.

Congressional leaders are reviewing the text of a bill that would allow marijuana businesses to store profits in banks, despite federal marijuana laws. The bill was released for review ahead of the upcoming hearing by the House Financial Services Committee on the subject, scheduled to take place tomorrow.

The bipartisan bill was authored by several legislators, including Warren Davidson, Steve Stivers, Ed Perlmutter and Denny Heck. It provides protections for marijuana-related “retirement plans or exchange-traded funds,” as well as “the sale or lease of real or any other property [and] legal or other licensed services…relating to cannabis.” It also covers ancillary businesses that provide services or products to the cannabis industry.

The bill goes a long way to provide protection for the cannabis industry as it deals with financial institutions in light of current laws. It is virtually offering safe passage for the industry, while not looking to reverse the federal limitations currently in place to protect banks. Hopefully, this bill will have more success than past attempts have found and afford all the same rights to the marijuana industry that are given to others.

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