Senate discusses marijuana and banking

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – A Senate committee is taking on an issue of state laws versus federal laws: legal marijuana sales and banking.

Discussed at the hearing was regulated banks’ ability to provide services to marijuana businesses in states where it has been legalized.

Since the drug is currently illegal federally, banks are not allowed to provide those services.

Legalization of marijuana was also discussed.

Two U.S. senators and multiple bank representatives spoke about the need for change.

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) said, “93 percent of the American Public support medical marijuana. In fact, majorities of both parties support legalization. In a time where all the talk is about how divided we are in a country, we are remarkably united on this issue. Given that support, it shouldn’t be surprising that the vast majority of states have changed their laws. 47 states now allow some form of Cannabis.”

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said, “In my home state, state and local governments took in over 80 million dollars in the fiscal year of 2018 in taxes. That’s 80 million dollars traveling down the roads and highways in duffel bags and backpacks. I’ve heard from dozens of people operating perfectly legal businesses who have been forced to deal entirely in cash or risk having business and personal bank accounts or lines of credit cutoff.”

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