WA: House Judiciary Committee Approves Measure Explicitly Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry

A Washington bill to give explicit permission to financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the state’s House Judiciary Committee.

The bipartisan House Bill 2098 was filed by Representative David Sawyer (D), and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick (R), Steve Kirby (D) and Cary Condotta (R). The measure “Provides immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

For purposes of the bill, “financial institution” is defined as “a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in Washington under state or federal law. Financial institutions are generally regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions.”

Read moreWA: House Judiciary Committee Approves Measure Explicitly Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry

Senators Sanders, Warren, Booker and Others Join Forces in Calling for Cannabis Banking

A group of U.S. senators have sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network urging the government to allow cannabis banking.

cannabis bankingThe bipartisan group of senators that sent the letter include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Angus King (I-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Al Franken (D-MN).

“The majority of legal marijuana businesses, and businesses that provide services to them, are all but barred from participating in the financial system,” states the letter. “As a result, many legal businesses are forced to operate in cash, which jeopardizes community safety.”

Read moreSenators Sanders, Warren, Booker and Others Join Forces in Calling for Cannabis Banking

E-mail Leak Reveals Clinton’s Marijuana Debate Prep, in Support of Marijuana Banking

A new Wikileaks e-mail leak shows how presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was prepared to respond to certain marijuana-related questions in the most recent debatedeb, including her position on whether banks should be allowed to do business with marijuana companies. The e-mails were part of a hack of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair.

One of the e-mails states:

“If pressed: what about marijuana banking restrictions – should we let marijuana businesses access banking services?

• I do think these businesses – if they are operating in according with state law, and with federal guidelines – should be able to access banking services. I know that the Obama Administration has taken steps in this direction, and I think those steps are smart.

Read moreE-mail Leak Reveals Clinton’s Marijuana Debate Prep, in Support of Marijuana Banking

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Proposal to Allow Cannabis Banking

cannabis bankingThe U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today gave approval to an amendment that would allow banks to provide services to cannabis businesses that are legal under their state’s law. The amendment, put forth by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), was made to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

The amendment would prevent government entities from spending any federal funds to prohibit or penalize banks and other financial institutions for providing services to cannabis businesses that are legal under state law. Currently most legal cannabis businesses are cash-only, as banks have been unwilling to work with them under fear of the federal government getting involved.

Read moreU.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Proposal to Allow Cannabis Banking

U.S. Senate’s Top Democrat Signs Bill to Allow Cannabis Banking

Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking ActSenate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would allow legal cannabis businesses to gain access to federal and state banking systems.

The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act, which was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley, would allow cannabis businesses that are legal under their state’s law to access banking systems, giving banks immunity from federal prosecution if they decide to work with such businesses.

Read moreU.S. Senate’s Top Democrat Signs Bill to Allow Cannabis Banking

U.S. Senate Committee Approves Measure to Allow Banks to Provide Services to Cannabis Businesses

cannabismoney1The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a measure that would ensure cannabis businesses that are legal under state law have access to banking services.

The amendment, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and added to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, would prohibit the Treasury Department and its enforcement arm, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, from using federal funds to punish banks that provide financial services to cannabis businesses that are operating legally under state laws.

Read moreU.S. Senate Committee Approves Measure to Allow Banks to Provide Services to Cannabis Businesses

Legislation to Allow Banks to do Business with Cannabis Outlets Filed in U.S. House

Unitedcannabismoney State Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA), along with a bipartisan group of 16 other lawmakers, introduced House Resolution 2076 today, a proposal to allow cannabis businesses to access the banking system if following state law.

The bill – which is titled the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 – would update federal banking laws and regulations to protect banks from federal persecution if they decide to do business with cannabis outlets (whether recreational or medicinal) that are following their state’s law.

Read moreLegislation to Allow Banks to do Business with Cannabis Outlets Filed in U.S. House

Colorado Division of Financial Services Grants Charter to Credit Union for Cannabis Industry

By Associated Press

DENVER, CO — Colorado has granted a charter for the first financial institution to serve its cash-only marijuana industry.colorado

However, before it can open permanently for business, action is also required by the National Credit Union Administration and Federal Reserve.

The Colorado Division of Financial Services issued the charter Wednesday to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, which could open in January, The Denver Post reported Thursday.

The charter is a step toward resolving a significant problem for the industry, which generally is unable to obtain traditional banking services. As a result, dispensaries frequently transport cash – a crime risk – and use currency to pay employees, expenses and taxes.

Read moreColorado Division of Financial Services Grants Charter to Credit Union for Cannabis Industry

U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Ease Cannabis Banking Laws

The United States House of Representatives has voted in support of making it easier for banks to do business with cannabis outletscannabismoney1 that are legal in the states they operate in.

The vote, which was 236 to 186, came Tuesday on legislation introduced by Louisiana Representative John Fleming, who was attempting to block the Treasury Department from implementing a memo it issued in February in conjunction with the Justice Department which tells banks that they won’t necessarily run afoul of federal law if they allow cannabis-related businesses to bank with them.

Read moreU.S. House of Representatives Votes to Ease Cannabis Banking Laws

U.S. Government Releases Memos Giving the OK to Cannabis Banking

The U.S. government issued rules on Friday allowing banks to legally provide financial services to state-licensed cannabis businesses, as long as those businesses are following certain guidelines.cannabismoney

In separate advisories issued by the Justice Department and the Treasury Department, the memos follow comments expressed last month by Attorney General Eric Holder, who noted concerns over the fact that legal cannabis businesses are forced to deal almost exclusively in cash, due to the fact that most banks refuse to work with them.

Read moreU.S. Government Releases Memos Giving the OK to Cannabis Banking