In an email on Monday afternoon, Michael H. Gray, a Wells Fargo assistant vice president for corporate communications defended the company’s move.“It is Wells Fargo’s policy not to knowingly bank or provide services to marijuana businesses or for activities related to those businesses, based on federal laws under which the sale and use of marijuana is illegal even if state laws differ,” he said. “We continually review our banking relationships to ensure we adhere to strict regulatory and risk guidelines.”When asked if that meant the company would be canceling the accounts of members of Congress who bank with Wells Fargo, Gray responded, “The policy applies to everyone.”
Senator Merkley responded by tweeting out the need to pass the SAFE Banking Act:
Legitimate businesses acting in compliance with state cannabis laws should have access to the American banking system—it’s good for public safety and local economies. This story is absurd & yet another reason why Congress should pass the SAFE Banking Act. https://t.co/KCV9p1KvPs https://t.co/W0w5u9csi7
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) August 22, 2018
The last time Sen. Merkley’s banking proposal came up for a vote before the Senate Appropriations Committee, it was blocked by a 21-10 vote.) While the cannabis industry has made great strides in recent years, there is still a long way to go. Thankfully, we are gaining strength among the public and politicians. We need to continue our state-by-state electoral success and elect more common-sense public servants like Senator Merkley and eventually, our nation will implement a rational cannabis policy that works for businesses and the public alike.
Don’t miss the message from Senator Merkley and the opportunity to learn the latest and network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates from around the world at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th. Early bird tickets are on sale now. Get your tickets by September 12th to save $200.