Capitol Hill lawmakers continue to receive pressure to act on cannabis banking
Support for a resolution for Congress to take swift action in enacting federal marijuana banking reform legislation was recently reaffirmed by an association of state treasurers. More and more parties are interested in the marijuana industry having the opportunity to access banking services just as traditional industries do.
The National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) Annual Business Meeting was held Monday. Members used the space to renew their support for a measure that would give cannabis businesses the financial facility that other businesses have.
While the movement doesn’t acknowledge that NAST is taking a position on marijuana legalization, the bipartisan treasurers are pushing. They agree that legislation should be passed that solves the cannabis banking problem stemming from federal prohibition.
There is an “ongoing conflict between state laws legalizing cannabis and current federal laws, resulting in the vast majority of financial institutions refusing to provide banking services to legal cannabis businesses,” the treasurers explain. Because of this major bump in the road to financial development, companies whose businesses are based on marijuana operate cash-only transactions.
The associations claim that these types of transactions are “inefficient, costly and opaque, making illicit activity more difficult to track and posing a significant risk to public safety.” With this reality still in place, NAST has made it clear that it supports any regulation that provides essential banking services to legalized marijuana businesses in the state.
Many other bipartisan lawmakers in Congress have been pushing to pass a marijuana banking bill this year. These efforts do not yet appear to be bearing fruit, but it is possible that the strong pressure will get to the point where leaders will have to give in and start listening to what the people really want.