Efforts To Allow Bank Dealings With Pot Businesses Get Yawns In Congress


As cannabis workers carry cash by the briefcase throughout Colorado, the lack of interest in Washington suggests that a bill to green-light banking practices for the marijuana industry is headed nowhere fast, the Denver Post reports. Federal legislation that could end cash-only practices in the marijuana industry will likely remain stuck in committee this year, with near silence from Washington lawmakers as to why it has. A Denver Post survey of the two House committees that could take immediate action found only one member outside the bill’s signed supporters and the Colorado delegation had interest in discussing the subject.

Four of 60 members of the Financial Services Committee and one of the 39 Judiciary Committee members said they had no position. The rest did not respond. The Colorado-rooted bill at the center of the issue would allow banks to do business with pot retailers and businesses in states that legalize the drug, and was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in July. “The almost universal response is the rolling of one’s eyes,” said Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA). Under the bill, recreational and medical marijuana enterprises legalized in 20 states and the District of Columbia could open bank accounts and use credit cards. businesses within the industry operate cash-only because financial institutions fear prosecution should they offer banking services to the federally illegal marijuana industry.

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