The IRS Had to Build New Rooms to House All the Cash From Legal Weed Taxes
Steve Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, told Fox that the IRS had to "build cash rooms" to manage all the money collected from cannabis excise taxes. Sounds like it's about time for the feds to finally allow the legal weed industry to access traditional banking.
Published on March 6, 2020

Congress passed a legal weed banking bill last year to quell the industry’s banking ban, but the bill is stuck in the Senate.

Dispensaries and cannabis customers aren’t the only ones fed up with the legal weed industry’s lack of access to traditional banking — even the US Treasury Secretary is tired of licensed marijuana businesses dealing strictly in cash.

According to a new report from Fox Business, Trump’s top money man, Steve Mnuchin, recently told Congress that the IRS has had such a hard time collecting and sorting state-legal weed taxes that they have built entire new rooms to handle the overflow of cash. 

“From the IRS’ standpoint, this creates a very large concern, and we have to build cash rooms to take in large amounts of cash where people owe us taxes, because we want to collect the taxes and those entities are not banked,” Mnuchin said. “And I would say that creates risk to our IRS employees and to the people in the community.”

Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, federally-insured banks are unwilling to work with weed companies due to fear of incurring money laundering or RICO charges. A bill to finally reconcile the gaps in state legal cannabis and banking access passed Congress this past September, but the legislation — dubbed the SAFE Banking Act — has since lingered stagnant in the Senate with no movement. 

On the floor of Congress, Mnuchin refrained from advocating for the SAFE Banking Act or making any other political statements about the state of federal cannabis policy, but did encourage legislators to help the IRS solve the cash issue as soon as possible. 

Unfortunately for the Treasury Secretary, that would probably take some action or advocacy from his boss, Donald Trump, and so far through nearly four years, the president has ignored pleas to end prohibition or support state legal cannabusiness

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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