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.”

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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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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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Legislation to Reform Tax Laws for Cannabis Businesses Filed in U.S. House and Senate

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced the Small Business Tax Equity Actphotocredithuffingtonpost of 2015 in both the House and the Senate. The bill would end unfair taxation issues faced by legal, state-sanctioned cannabis businesses by altering Section 280E of the federal tax code.

“The small businesses that make up the legal cannabis industry are working overtime to be responsible, contributing members of their communities,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). “So it’s particularly outrageous that when they try to do the right thing by paying their federal taxes, they end up penalized with double and triple tax rates.”

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Federal Bills to Amend IRS Code to Allow Tax Deductions by Cannabis Businesses Announced

Todaymoneycannabis, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced plans to introduce bicameral legislation next week that would reconcile state cannabis laws and federal tax law. The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which was introduced last Congress by Congressman Blumenauer, would create an exception to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E to allow cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law to take deductions associated with the sale of marijuana like any other legal business.

“More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana. It’s time for the federal government to catch up,” said Congressman Blumenauer in a Thursday press release. “Section 280E creates an unequal and unrealistic tax burden on these businesses. I’m excited to work with Senator Wyden in introducing the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would bring much needed fairness and level the playing field for small businesses that follow state laws and create jobs.”

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Legislation to Legalize Hemp Filed in U.S. Senate

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkel, Rand Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have filed a proposal to legalize the cultivation and I'm told this is industrial hemp, which grows wild on the preserve. production of hemp within the United States.

Titled the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (S.134), the proposal would amend the United State Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis, effectively ending its prohibition.

Senators Wyden, Merkel, Paul and McConnel attempted in 2013 to legalize hemp through the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, and by including an amendment in a federal farming bill, though unfortunately both efforts eventually stalled. However, McConnel is now the Senate Majority Leader, adding further weight to the effort, and the conservation surrounding hemp has continued to blossom.

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