Nevada lawmakers get behind marijuana banking bill

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More politicians are supporting measures to protect the marijuana industry

Legislation being discussed on Capitol Hill to protect banks that work with marijuana entities continues to gain favor among politicians. Nevada Representative Mark Amodei has become the latest to put his weight behind the bill, joining other lawmakers in the state that are pushing to help the legal marijuana industry grow.

Amodei recognizes that his job is to support common sense laws, even if they go against his personal beliefs. He admits that he personally does not consume marijuana, but that this is irrelevant to laws that would help the industry. Amodei wants to take things a step further, creating legislation that would allow marijuana to be treated like gaming, tobacco and alcohol – controlled, licensed and subject to federal taxes.

The lawmaker asserts, “That’s a privileged business license. Even though I’m a Republican, everybody else has their cut of the action, there ought to be a federal cut.”

Amodei also believes that authorities at all levels should have direct access to financial accounts of marijuana businesses in order for these to be tracked and to ensure the industry doesn’t become susceptible to money laundering.

That ability would fall in line with current legislation. The Bank Secrecy Act currently applies to virtually all industries and should, asserts Amodei, apply to marijuana, as well. The legislation requires that all financial institutions report cash transactions of more than $10,000 if illegal activity is suspected.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 is now being addressed by committees on Capitol Hill. If it is accepted by Congress, it will allow banks to legally work with cannabis companies, and would “create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.”