Within just a couple hours, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on two amendments to the Financial Services Appropriations bill that could affect the ability of cannabis businesses to access banking services. We need your help.
Please call your Representative’s office ASAP and urge him or her to vote NO on the Fleming amendment and YES on the Heck/Rohrabacher/Perlmutter/Lee amendment.
The Fleming amendment would block the guidance issued by the Department of Treasury in February that began to open the door for banks to provide services to our industry. Urge your Representative to vote NO.
The Heck/Rohrabacher/Perlmutter/Lee amendment would allow cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state law to access the banking system. Urge your Representative to vote YES.
You can find your Representative’s contact information by going to this link and entering your zip code.
Your voice is the most effective tool we have to convince Congress to do the right thing. Please call today.
Director of Government Relations
National Cannabis Industry Association
Here is some additional information to help you share your story with your Representative:
- 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of either medical (31 states) or adult and medical-use (2 states) marijuana.
- Because marijuana remains classified as Schedule I drug, individuals who grow, possess, use, sell, transport, or distribute marijuana remain subject to federal criminal prosecution, even in states that have legalized those actions.
- Consequently, financial institutions providing banking services to legitimate marijuana businesses are subject to criminal prosecution.
- Earlier this year, DOJ and Treasury released guidance for banking regulators on how banks can provide services to legitimate marijuana business. While the guidance has not fully solved the problem—many banks are still reluctant to offer financial services to marijuana businesses—it has created a framework for allowing marijuana businesses to access the banking system.
- As cash-only businesses, marijuana businesses are targets for crime and robbery, which puts employees, customers, bystanders and law enforcement at risk.
- The inability of marijuana related businesses to access the banking system also makes it harder for regulators and law enforcement tomonitor transactions and prosecute crime.
- Restricting marijuana business’s access to banks forces them to operate as a cash-only business, which results in a serious public safety and law enforcement concern. In the last two years, marijuana businesses in Denver have suffered from an annual burglary rate of about 50 percent.
The Heck-Perlmutter-Lee-Rohrabacher Amendment will allow legitimate marijuana-related businesses operating according to state laws to access the banking system in an effort to reduce the risks and public safety concern of operating as a cash-only business. The Amendment stops banking regulators from penalizing financial institutions for providing services to marijuana related business that operate according to state law.