Cannabis banking bill advances in US House committee

Legislation that would provide federal protection for financial institutions that serve state-authorized marijuana and ancillary businesses passed a U.S. House committee on Thursday.

Posted: Mar 28, 2019 4:12 PM
Updated: Mar 28, 2019 4:31 PM

DENVER (AP) — Legislation that would provide federal protection for financial institutions that serve state-authorized marijuana and ancillary businesses passed a U.S. House committee on Thursday.

The House Financial Services Committee voted 45-15 to advance the proposed bill after amending it to include provisions to provide a safe harbor for insurance companies and improve access of financial services to minority- and women-owned cannabis businesses.

"This is a historic and critical step forward for the nation's burgeoning cannabis industry," Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. "Regardless of where members stand on legalization, they can agree that it is in the public interest to make banking available to cannabis businesses in states where it is legal."

The proposal was originally introduced by Reps. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado and Denny Heck of Washington state, both Democrats, and Ohio Republicans Steve Stivers and Warren Davidson. It now goes to the full House for consideration, the Marijuana Business Daily reported .

Banks generally balk at servicing the marijuana industry for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government, which still considers marijuana illegal.

As a result, a large portion of the fledgling industry is left to operate on a cash-only basis, which creates security, money laundering and other criminal concerns.

The measure would address that difficulty while helping cannabis businesses that have struggled to obtain the financing needed for operations and expansion.

"The SAFE Banking Act would go a long way toward improving safety, transparency, access and justice in the cannabis industry," Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said in a statement.

Kevin Murphy, CEO of New York-based multistate operator Acreage Holdings, said in a statement that access to traditional banking services will have a "profound" positive economic impact in terms of creating jobs and tax revenues.

Financial industry groups such as the American Bankers Association and Credit Union National Association have come out in support of the bill, saying its members have found themselves in a difficult situation because of the conflict between state and federal law.

Among other things, the proposed measure would prevent federal banking regulators from punishing financial institutions that serve cannabis-related businesses that comply with state laws.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 155597

Reported Deaths: 2208
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31877528
Washington21211212
Marion18468285
Clackamas13380175
Lane10258126
Jackson8395112
Umatilla765982
Deschutes595259
Yamhill378364
Linn359056
Malheur335158
Polk306442
Klamath279155
Douglas247454
Benton234416
Josephine234050
Jefferson195828
Coos149119
Union128419
Columbia126521
Wasco122126
Lincoln113220
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6567
Curry4296
Tillamook4142
Lake3766
Harney2736
Grant2231
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3566914

Reported Deaths: 52158
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119192321435
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2866072874
Orange2612203917
San Diego2600913284
Santa Clara1106211777
Kern102627827
Fresno953931443
Sacramento932811472
Alameda806681242
Ventura77623844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62248681
Stanislaus56132946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38998515
San Francisco34260412
Santa Barbara31805411
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28141298
Imperial26903591
Kings21955218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15467209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12834185
Shasta10985174
Butte10962160
El Dorado9095100
Napa903869
Sutter884597
San Benito576759
Yuba573337
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada396074
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador346341
Humboldt318033
Lake315641
Glenn222523
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 47°
Medford
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 39°
Medford
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Klamath Falls
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 38°
Very mild start to March
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events