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.

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U.S. Senate Committee Passes Amendment to Prevent Federal Interference with State Hemp Laws

hemphemphooooorahThe United States Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Committee has given approval to an amendment that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state laws that allow for the legal cultivation and production of hemp. The amendment, championed by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wydnen, was added to a larger appropriations bill.

“It’s ridiculous that the federal government is still standing in the way of states that have made the decision to allow industrial hemp farming,” says Senator Merkley. “Industrial hemp has the potential to create jobs and research opportunities here in Oregon and it’s time for the federal government to get out of the way.”

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U.S. Senate Approves Bill to Give Veterans Access to Legal Medical Cannabis

The United States Senate today passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, which includes language that would allow Veterans Administrationva (VA) doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.

“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor,” says Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It makes no sense that a veteran can’t use medical marijuana if it helps them and it is legal in their state.”

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment was introduced with bipartisan support by Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. The funding bill will now be negotiated with the House’s version as part of an omnibus spending bill.

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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.

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Bipartisan Cannabis Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

By Darby Beck, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

money2WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Ma lmrijuana Business Access to Banking Act today in a much-needed move to allow legitimate marijuana businesses to conduct legal financial operations.

While the move sounds like a minor regulatory matter, the lack of clear financial guidelines represents the single greatest obstacle to state-legal marijuana businesses operating safely and profitably. Currently, dispensaries and other businesses in states that have legalized medical marijuana or that allow adult use must operate cash-only businesses because banking services fall under federal, rather than state law.

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Bipartisan Legislation to Legalize Medical Use of Low-THC Cannabis Introduced in U.S. Senate

Bipartisan legislation to exempt low-THC cannabis from the United States list of controlled substances when being used to treat seizure disorders such as epilepsy.WTCannabis has been filed in the United States Senate The bill  – titled the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2015 – was filed by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with co-sponsors Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

“This bill would provide children and adults alike with access to medicine they need to treat life-threatening conditions,” Senator Gardner said in a Wednesday press release. “Colorado has become a haven for people in need and parents desperate to pursue treatment for their children. Making this medicine available nationwide is the right thing to do, and would help families cope with these serious illnesses.”

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