In order for the emerging cannabis industry to reach its full potential comprehensive federal banking reform will be required. The legal cannabis industry in the United States is conducting billions of dollars worth of transactions annually, with a vast majority of them being cash-based.
Consumers would likely prefer to pay for their cannabis via electronic methods, similar to how they do with almost every other good and service. However, that is not an option in many cases.
Cannabis companies would prefer to be able to make deposits into bank accounts like every other legal business and pay their taxes with a check instead of huge bags of cash. Unfortunately, many cannabis companies have had their bank accounts involuntarily closed or were not allowed to open a bank account to begin with.
It’s a ridiculous situation that is born out of cannabis being prohibited at the federal level. Banking reform is desperately needed to help cannabis consumers and cannabis companies.
A reported vote in the House of Representatives is expected later this month on the SAFE Banking Act, which would help matters considerably. News regarding the expected vote was first reported by Marijuana Moment:
A bipartisan bill to protect banks that service marijuana businesses will get a House floor vote by the end of the month, the office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) confirmed to Marijuana Moment on Friday.
House leadership announced the decision to Democratic lawmakers at a closed-door meeting on Thursday.
“Mr. Hoyer said at the Whip meeting yesterday that he intends to move it this month,” a Hoyer staffer said in an email. “We’re discussing it with Members, but it hasn’t been scheduled just yet.”
The SAFE Banking Act has bipartisan support in the House and is expected to pass if/when it is put to a vote. It’s unclear what the odds are of the bill passing if it eventually gets sent to the Senate.
Current political forces in the Senate have resulted in most bills that were passed by the House being dead on arrival once they get to Senator Mitch McConnell’s chamber. Will that be the case for this cannabis banking reform measure? Only time will tell.