WA Legislature Approves Measure Allowing Financial Institutions to Work With Marijuana Industry

Legislation allowing financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been passed by Washington State’s full legislature.

Yesterday Washington’s House of Representatives voted 83 to 15 to pass Senate Bill 5928. The vote comes a little over two weeks after the Senate gave approval to the bill in a 38 to 9 vote. The proposal will now go to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee, who has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or veto it. Given Inslee’s previous support of the legal marijuana industry, it’s expected that he will sign it into law.

If the measure does become law, as expected, it would provide  “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.”

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Washington Senate Committee Votes to Allow Financial Institutions to Service Marijuana Businesses

Legislation that would explicitly allow financial institutions in Washington State to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

The vote on Senate Bill 5928 comes shortly after a companion bill – House Bill 2098 – was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The bipartisan measure would provide  “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 moreWashington Senate Committee Votes to Allow Financial Institutions to Service Marijuana Businesses