Proposed legislation could open up modern banking services to the marijuana industry.
Marijuana is a booming industry in the United States. Already, medical cannabis is legal in 23 states, and recreational pot is legal in four states and in the District of Columbia.
Thousands of business owners are now operating in the legal cannabis industry, but they’re doing so largely without access to traditional financial services.
Per NBC News:
With banks reluctant to take on the risk and responsibilities associated with accepting money earned from a substance that’s still illegal under federal law, banking has become a rare luxury in the marijuana industry.
The majority of cannabis business owners have been left to operate on a cash-only basis, which is inconvenient and increases risk of robbery.
However, the United States Senate is currently considering legislation that could change all of that, as reported by Marijuana.com.
Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley and a bipartisan group of six co-sponsors introduced an amendment Wednesday that could bring the cannabis industry out of the financial services dark ages – provided the measure makes it to the Senate floor for a vote.
The amendment would prevent federal officials from punishing banks that work with the marijuana industry through prosecutions, asset seizures or termination of their FDIC insurance, which are very real threats under current law.
The full amendment can be found here.