Bank Officials Urge Congress to Allow Cannabis Businesses Banking Services

hightimes.com
Date:
Thursday, Feb 14, 2019

Cash-only business models are unsustainable. And unsafe.

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Bank officials and cannabis industry representatives joined together on Wednesday to urge Congress to allow marijuana businesses access to banking services. At a hearing of the House Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee, lawmakers heard from advocates of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 who are seeking support for the bill.

Due to federal drug and money laundering regulations, even cannabis businesses operating legally under state laws are often unable to obtain financial services regularly used by other industries. As a result, companies in the cannabis industry often do business only in cash, putting the firms and their employees at great risk. The SAFE Banking Act would protect financial institutions and likely make more banks willing to serve the cannabis industry.

Gregory S. Deckard, speaking for the Independent Community Bankers of America, said that the legislation “would offer the needed clarity” to financial institutions hesitant to provide services to marijuana businesses.

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