Because the federal government still considers marijuana to be one of the most dangerous illicit substances in the world, it is difficult for businesses operating in the legal pot business to secure baking solutions. However, a group of federal lawmakers hope to change that.
A group of congressmen, including Representatives Ed Perlmutter, Don Young, and Denny Heck, recently announced that they would soon introduce a bill called the “Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act” (SAFE Banking Act) to the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at giving financial institutions the freedom to do business with the marijuana industry without having to worry about the threat of federal interference.
“This legislation is an important step to ensuring marijuana businesses across the nation — who continue to operate in a very uncertain and insecure environment without access to banks or financial institutions — can be treaty fairly and as legitimate contributors to state and local economies,” Rep. Young said in a statement. “While I do not personally advocate for the use of marijuana, I do support these types of issues as a matter of states’ rights and the ability to determine the nature of criminal activity within their own jurisdictions.”
Marijuana is now legal in over half the nation for both medicinal and recreational purposes, yet the companies associated with the trade have no choice but to conduct a large portion of their business on a cash-only basis. However, weed is not exactly a small industry. In fact, some of the latest data shows that billions of dollars are being made from the sale of legal marijuana in the United States, a situation that is leaving all of this cash out in the open to be preyed upon by the felonious actions of petty thugs and organized crime.
It is for this reason lawmakers believes the time has come for Congress to finally get serious about passing concrete legislation that, at least, protects the cannabis trade at the financial level.
“With the majority of states now allowing for some form of recreational or medical marijuana, we have reached a tipping point on this issue and it’s time for Congress to act,” said Rep. Perlmutter. “Allowing tightly regulated marijuana businesses the ability to access the banking system will help reduce the threat of crime, robbery and assault in our communities and keep the cash out of cartels.”
This is not the first time that lawmakers have made a push for the SAFE Banking Act. It has shown up on Capitol Hill a couple times before, but it has never been taken had any success.
The congressmen say they plan to officially introduce the bill, again, in the coming weeks.