Attorney Generals numbering more than 35 urged Congress to legally open the door of the banking system to the cannabis industry. Although a major population resides in states where marijuana is legally available, most banks do not want to do anything with money from the cannabis industry.
This is because of the fear that that it would land them in legal trouble from the federal government which still considers cannabis illegal.
Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General stated that not including the $8.3 billion industry system into banking is hurting the economy and the public system. He is of the opinion that passing this bill would reward the taxpayers as well as the local, small licensed business owners who abide to regulatory framework.
The conflict that exists between the federal and the state laws has left many sellers and growers in a state of dilemma. They have been worst impacted by being shut down from everyday financial services such as opening a bank account and owning a credit card.
This has also compelled several businesses to operate only in cash which is turning them into a ripe target for crime. The pending bill submitted to the congress could offer small businesses access to loans and other banking services.
The attorneys have argued that under the current law, authorities cannot track the potential crimes. This also makes it difficult for businesses to pay deposits. Moreover, it becomes hard for states to track revenues and taxation.
The letter urges the Congressmen to expand monetary services to authenticate marijuana associated businesses as well as service providers and thus lessen the amount of cash held by them.
The attorneys have clearly highlighted that there needs to be flexibility in the banking system for addressing the needs of businesses in various territories and states. This includes banking system for the cannabis industry that is both effective and responsive in addressing the demands of the economy.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter who is one of the bill’s sponsors, speaks about the importance of the support from the officials. He stated that the government needs to respect the rights of the states on this matter and should make the communities safer by permitting the marijuana industry and the associated businesses to have right of entry into the banking system.
This letter has earned a lot of appreciation from the banking sector. The American Bankers Association wrote, “The commonsense bill provides much clarity for banks in states where cannabis is legal.”
The letter has triggered responses from not just the banking community but also from others. Many have voiced their opinion on the matter after the brave move from the attorney generals of 33 states.
American Banker magazine wrote that there is a need to prioritize this matter. The Chief Executive Officer and President of Colorado Bankers Association, Don Childears said that their main motive is to prevent money hoarding and prevent easy access to cash.
He stated that, “We have had people killed in robberies of marijuana shops here in Colorado. I can’t say that wouldn’t happen if you had banking services, but at least you wouldn’t have the temptation of large amounts of cash.”
The cash-only marijuana industry poses a great threat to the communities and it is high time that the federal government stepped in to offer help. Clarity from the federal government has been demanded by the attorney generals in their letter to the congress.