In the wake of a string of marijuana victories at the ballot box, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, is leading the charge to ensure banking access for the legal marijuana industry.
Although 28 states have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana, many banking institutions still refuse to work with the legal marijuana industry over fears of federal intervention, forcing the industry to adopt a cash-only model.
On Dec. 14, 2016, Warren joined nine other senators in penning a letter to the the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, calling on federal regulators to provide additional guidance to banking institutions on how to work with the legal marijuana industry.
According to the Associated Press, Warren, who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has also been vocal about the benefits of moving the industry away from a cash-only system.
“You make sure that people are really paying their taxes. You know that the money is not being diverted to some kind of criminal enterprise,” Warren recently remarked. “And it’s just a plain old safety issue. You don’t want people walking in with guns and masks and saying, ‘Give me all your cash.'”
FinCEN is currently reviewing the letter from Warren and her fellow senators.