Treasurer Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group Meets in San Diego to Hear From Congressman Dana Rohrabacher About Federal Solutions to Lack of Banking Services for New Industry


SAN DIEGO, July 6, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and other expert witnesses will brief State Treasurer John Chiang and members of his Cannabis Banking Working group on how to provide banking services to California’s soon-to-be-legalized recreational cannabis industry in San Diego on Friday.

Chiang, who created the 17-member panel late last year, has held a series of hearings around the state in response to voter approval of Proposition 64 in November. The San Diego meeting is the fifth such airing.

Chiang’s working group has been engaged in an ongoing effort to ensure a safe and smooth transition to the legal sale of cannabis products for the public, businesses and financial institutions as the state moves toward a January 1 start date.

The panel’s biggest challenge is finding a way to deal with a glaring disconnect between federal and state cannabis law. Federal statutes continue to list cannabis as a “Class 1” controlled substance, while state law soon will allow cannabis to be sold and used for recreational purposes under strictly regulated conditions.

The working group has heard from bankers, legal experts, cannabis growers and business owners, as well as authorities from states where recreational cannabis is already legal. The experts have clarified points of conflict in state and federal laws that do not provide cannabis firms with normal business banking services and forces them to deal almost entirely in cash. Lack of banking creates a risky environment that fosters violent crime, money laundering and other illegal activities.

At Friday’s meeting in San Diego, the Treasurer’s working group will hear from Congressman Rohrabacher, the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, about his proposed legislation to resolve the state - federal differences in regulation and enforcement of cannabis laws.

The panel’s task in recent months has become more urgent now that the Trump administration has begun to signal that it may soon crack down on states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. July 7, 2017

WHERE: Town and Country San Diego Resort and Convention Center 500 Hotel Cir N, San Diego, CA 92108

WHO: State Treasurer John Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group. The 17-member group is comprised of representatives from banks, taxing authorities, local and state government regulatory agencies, law enforcement, and the cannabis industry.

On Friday, the Cannabis Banking Working Group is scheduled to hear from, among others: Chuck Lowery, deputy mayor of the city of Oceanside; David Chelette, development board vice chair of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel; John Hudak, author of Marijuana: A Short History; and Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

WHAT: The Cannabis Banking Working Group is charged with finding practical and timely ways to address the state-federal conflict over how to bank money generated by the cannabis industry. For more information, please visit

More Information:
Full Agenda

Live Video Stream (Broadcast will begin at 9:30 a.m. July 7, 2017)

For more news, please follow the Treasurer on Twitter at @CalTreasurer, and on Facebook at California State Treasurer’s Office.

Marc Lifsher
[email protected]

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