Washington leaders increase pressure on Congress for marijuana banking reform

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Cannabis retailers have been the victims of many criminal gangs around the country over the years. The latest major alarm was seen after a recent spate of deadly robberies at some of these stores, which was the subject of a virtual roundtable discussion by Washington state officials. One of the major focuses being prioritized again is federal policy change, discussing what steps the state can take amid a hands-off Congress. Banking reform remains one of the biggest demands today.

Representatives of cannabis businesses that have recently been victims of robbery have met with various advocates and legislators at a meeting organized by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). This comes after at least three people were killed in the span of four days at different cannabis retailers located in Washington.

“This issue has been brought to the forefront of the public’s attention in recent weeks because of the horrific natures of that sort of robberies that have occurred, but it’s just a reminder that every robbery that occurs is a traumatic situation for those who are involved in it,” Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti said at the event.

According to Pellicciotti, this issue has become obvious because retailers and businesses in this industry are unable to bank, making owners 100% cash-dependent. The state treasurer adds that while passing legislation related to banking reform is a positive thing, it may not necessarily be the solution to the problem. There is still widespread recognition that lack of protection is “a major contributing factor” to these violent robberies.