Tag: Cannabis Industry

The American Bankers Association Urges Congress to Pass the SAFE Banking Act

The bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act) of 2021 is expected to get a vote today in the United States House of Representatives, a big development for the cannabis industry and the first step towards finally implementing a sensible federal cannabis policy. State-regulated cannabis businesses are severely hindered from a lack of access to bank accounts and other normal financial services. The extra burden especially hurts small businesses, complicates business relations with vendors, and creates a safety risk for staff, customers, and the local neighborhood. The cannabis industry got a big boost today, with the American Bankers Association urging Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, writing:

Since 1996, voters across the country have determined that it is appropriate to allow their citizens to use cannabis for medical purposes and, since 2012, for adult use. Currently, 36 states have legalized cannabis for medical or adult use and that number continues to grow. Nevertheless, current federal law prevents banks from safely banking cannabis businesses, as well as the ancillary businesses that provide them with goods and services.

As a result, a majority of states are struggling to address the significant challenges to public safety, as well as regulatory and tax compliance that go hand-in-hand with businesses forced to operate in an all-cash environment. Providing a mechanism for the cannabis industry to access the banking system would help those communities reduce cash-motivated crimes, increase the efficiency of tax collections, and improve the financial transparency of the cannabis industry. Since bank accounts are monitored in accordance with existing anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act requirements, bringing cannabis-related legitimate businesses into the mainstream banking sector would also help law enforcement to identify suspicious transactions – an opportunity that is not available in an all-cash environment.

The ABA was joined by 51 state banking associations, who in a separate letter penned, noting that the “SAFE Banking Act is a banking-specific bipartisan solution that would address the reality of the current marketplace.” No matter anyone’s stance on cannabis legalization, and the ABA noted that they are neutral on the issue, they should support the SAFE Banking Act. Denying cannabis companies access to bank accounts leads unnecessary complications and danger for our local communities. Hopefully the House passes the common-sense legislation overwhelmingly and the Senate follows suit.

UPDATE: The SAFE Banking Act passed!!!

Congress, Pass a Jobs Bill! Legalize Cannabis.

It’s an understatement to say that there’s a lot on the plate of our nation and leaders. While our economy has started to improve, much more still needs to be done and it is imperative that we learn to adapt quickly and think about how we can best address our needs into the future, and not just plan for “the last war”. Over the past year, one of the few economic bright spots has been the cannabis industry. Legalized states have produced thousands of new jobs and generated millions upon millions in additional revenue, while the cannabis industry, with one hand tied behind its back, has emerged as an essential, multi-billion dollar industry. Ending federal prohibition will allow the cannabis industry to truly flourish with a similar tax code and access to banking services like other business sectors. As Rolling Stone reported, ending cannabis prohibition could lead to a better economic revival in states like Michigan that have lost manufacturing jobs, and all across the land:

For example, according to a recent report by the cannabis media platform Leafly, there are more legal cannabis professionals nationwide than there are electrical engineers, dentists and paramedics. In Michigan, more than half of those cannabis-related jobs were added just in 2020 alone. Referring specifically to Michigan, the report dryly notes, “In a state known for its auto industry, the number of cannabis workers is now roughly equal to the number of auto repair mechanics.”

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In 2020, according to Leafly’s findings, our industry sold $18.3 billion worth of product and supported 321,000 full-time jobs. The cannabis industry created this value last year without access to the regular security of banking and without even basic insurance programs available to every other business. Across the country, the industry did it with a concurrent illicit market competing against us every step of the way. We did it without being able to sell products between states as we do with automobiles or soybeans. Our industry is the industry of the 21st century — and it may just save us all.

This has undoubtedly been a terrible time in our country, but while so many other consumer industries have been shaken, cannabis has flourished during the darkness, proving that it can be the job creator and economic driver we need as we look to a much brighter future.

As Congress debates some serious issues about where to spend our hard-earned tax dollars and best move our nation forward, they shouldn’t ignore cannabis legalization for too long. With broad bipartisan support, sweeping Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history is a win-win for our nation. Thanks to hardworking advocates, legalization is here to stay in 17 states already, and will come to most remaining states eventually. For once, our legislators can embrace the future and help bring more jobs and revenue to communities that have suffered so much over the past year.

When you support Kind Leaf in beautiful Pendleton you are supporting an Oregonian-owned craft cannabis boutique that supports the local economy and community.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act

With over 100 robberies of Portland, Oregon-area dispensaries alone within the past year, it’s more evident than ever that the cannabis industry needs normal banking and financial services. One armed robbery lead to the tragic murder of an employee. Our nation shouldn’t let Reefer Madness prohibition lead to more unnecessary death and destruction anywhere, but especially in states that have legalized within their borders. Thankfully, a bipartisan group of legislators have introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to end the ridiculous two-tiered system of allowing state-regulated cannabis businesses to operate free from federal law enforcement intervention while still treating these companies as criminals unworthy of access to regular bank accounts. Allowing cannabis customers to use their debit and credit cards at dispensaries will end the cash-only policies that make these retailers prime targets of violent criminals. The SAFE Banking Act goes beyond cannabis, this is a public safety issue that demands immediate attention.

This common-sense proposal was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week and yesterday a Senate version was officially introduced. One of the lead sponsors is Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley who stated in a press release: “No one working in a store or behind a register should have to worry about experiencing a traumatic robbery at any moment. That means we can’t keep forcing legal cannabis businesses to operate entirely in cash—a nonsensical rule that is an open invitation to robbery and money laundering. Let’s make 2021 the year that we get this bill signed into law so we can ensure that all legal cannabis businesses have access to the financial services they need to help keep their employees safe.”

Every reasonable person should want state-licensed cannabis businesses to conduct transactions the same as any other business. If the safety of dispensary employees doesn’t sway someone, then try to appeal to their sense of fairness towards non-cannabis businesses that have to deal with dispensaries. Utility companies and state tax collectors didn’t necessarily choose to legalize cannabis and dealing with cash complicates their work and, especially for those tasked with taking in record-breaking tax revenue, puts them in physical danger as well. And finally, even if you don’t support legalization, don’t you want the industry to pay their taxes? Cash-only transactions entices money laundering and tax evasion.

Cannabis legalization is here to stay. No state has repealed a cannabis legalization law. With supermajority support among voters, it doesn’t seem likely that any state will go back to prohibition. It’s time to face reality and save lives by passing the SAFE Banking Act. Please contact your legislators and spread the word and encourage friends to do the same.

Full press release from Senator Jeff Merkley:

Merkley, Daines Lead Senate Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure that Legal Cannabis Businesses Aren’t Shut Out of Critical Financial Services

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) today introduced the bipartisan Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would ensure that legal cannabis businesses have access to critical banking services.

Most state legal medicinal or recreational cannabis businesses are denied access to the banking system because banks fear they may be prosecuted under federal law given the ongoing federal restrictions on cannabis. The lack of access to bank accounts, credit cards, and checks have forced state legal cannabis businesses to operate in cash, opening the door to tax evasion and to a dangerous pattern of robberies, including one that resulted in the murder of a store clerk in Portland earlier this month.

Giving state legal cannabis businesses access to banking services would not only improve community safety, but also make it easier for Americans of color—who have long been disproportionately impacted by America’s racist ‘War on Drugs’ policies and generations of asset-stripping policies and practices—to access the capital necessary to participate in the merging cannabis industry.

“No one working in a store or behind a register should have to worry about experiencing a traumatic robbery at any moment,” said Merkley. “That means we can’t keep forcing legal cannabis businesses to operate entirely in cash—a nonsensical rule that is an open invitation to robbery and money laundering. Let’s make 2021 the year that we get this bill signed into law so we can ensure that all legal cannabis businesses have access to the financial services they need to help keep their employees safe.”

“Montana businesses shouldn’t have to operate in all cash—they should have a safe way to conduct business,” Daines said. “My bipartisan bill will provide needed certainty for legal Montana cannabis businesses and give them the ability to freely use banks, credit unions and other financial institutions without the fear of punishment. This in turn will help increase public safety, reduce crime, support Montana small businesses, create jobs and boost local economies. A win-win for all.”

To address the safety concerns resulting from these state legal businesses being shut out of banking services, the SAFE Banking Act would prevent federal banking regulators from:

  • Prohibiting, penalizing or discouraging a bank from providing financial services to a legitimate state-sanctioned and regulated cannabis business, or an associated business (such as an lawyer or landlord providing services to a legal cannabis business);
  • Terminating or limiting a bank’s federal deposit insurance solely because the bank is providing services to a state-sanctioned cannabis business or associated business;
  • Recommending or incentivizing a bank to halt or downgrade providing any kind of banking services to these businesses; or
  • Taking any action on a loan to an owner or operator of a cannabis-related business.

The bill also creates a safe harbor from criminal prosecution and liability and asset forfeiture for banks and their officers and employees who provide financial services to legitimate, state-sanctioned cannabis businesses, while maintaining banks’ right to choose not to offer those services. The bill also provides protections for hemp and hemp-derived CBD related businesses.

The bill would require banks to comply with current Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance, while at the same time allowing FinCEN guidance to be streamlined over time as states and the federal government adapt to legalized medicinal and recreational cannabis policies.

Momentum around the SAFE Banking Act reached new heights in the 116th Congress, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation, and included it in the HEROES Act.

The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Angus King (I-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).

Last week, the legislation was introduced by Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY-07), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), and Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) and over 100 of their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives. Full text of the legislation is available here.

Bipartisan Cannabis SAFE Banking Act Introduced Again in the U.S. House

It is honestly hard to understate how important it is that Congress pass the SAFE Banking Act to finally allow cannabis businesses access to regular banking and financial services. While there are some banks that do business with state-regulated cannabis companies, that simply isn’t good enough. These banks charge significant fees for this privilege and the businesses must still remain cash-only as no credit or debit cards can be utilized at dispensaries. The bureaucratic headaches aren’t just limited to the cannabis industry either as everyone the industry does business with, from their landlords to the state and federal agencies collecting record-breaking tax revenue, are then forced to accept cash as well. While the lack of financial services is a huge impediment to doing business, especially for locally-owned craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, the biggest issue is the current threat to public safety. The more than 100 robberies in the Portland-area over the past year alone are troubling, but thieves are taking advantage all across the nation. Tragically, one Portland budtender was murdered in an armed robbery and more needless suffering will occur if the cannabis industry is forced to be cash-only. Thankfully, as Marijuana Moment reported, the SAFE Banking Act has been reintroduced in the United States House by Representative Ed Perlmutter with bipartisan support:

The bill as introduced has 102 initial cosponsors, with Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Warren Davidson (R-OH) taking the lead alongside Perlmutter. By the end of the 116th Congress, the prior version of the bill garnered 206 cosponsors. The current bill includes support from 13 Republicans.

A new companion Senate version of the bill is expected to be filed next week.

The SAFE Banking Act would ensure that financial institutions could take on cannabis business clients without facing federal penalties. Fear of sanctions has kept many banks and credit unions from working with the industry, forcing marijuana firms to operate on a cash basis that makes them targets of crime and creates complications for financial regulators.

The bill has been slightly revised this session to expand banking protections to explicitly include hemp and CBD businesses, and some technical changes were made to clarify language around insurance and safe harbor provisions. A separate bill to address insurance issues in the cannabis market was also introduced in the Senate on Thursday.

With a supermajority of voters understanding that it’s time to end cannabis prohibition altogether, passing the SAFE Banking Act should be a no-brainer. I certainly expect the bill to pass the House, but the real question will be if the common-sense banking legislation will survive the 50-50 Senate and its rather archaic filibuster rules. It’s imperative to spread the word and help everyone understand how important this policy change is. This goes beyond cannabis. Even if you don’t support legalization, you should support this bill. This is a public safety issue. If you don’t support the SAFE Banking Act, then you don’t support public safety. Step by step, let’s save and improve lives and the SAFE Banking Act is one crucial step towards ending the failed, racist, and harmful war on cannabis. Let’s get to work. Contact your elected officials and get them on board.

Denver May Expand the Cannabis Hospitality Industry, Oregon Should Take Note

More than 20 million Americans were out of work during the height of the COVID crisis last year, and the latest figures still put the number of unemployed at over 18 million. These unemployment numbers don’t take into account the number of people underemployed and those that have given up looking for work altogether. As many as 22 million may be considered underemployed in that their current jobs are just part-time or don’t match their education level or work experience. Over 300,000 Oregonians were unemployed last April, with that number still over 177,000. One of the few economic bright spots in Oregon, and across the nation, has been the cannabis industry, but now isn’t the time to rest on our laurels. We should capitalize on the further mainstreaming of cannabis and capitalize on the burgeoning industry and make Oregon THE craft cannabis state by opening up licenses to promote as many small businesses as possible and broaden the industry further into the hospitality market, preparing for an economic boom following the pandemic.

As Denver’s ABC Channel 7 reported, the Colorado city is considering expanding the cannabis industry, Oregon shouldn’t definitely follow suit:

One of the most notable changes that is being proposed includes Denver opting into a state law that allows local municipalities to authorize and regulate marijuana delivery.

The proposal would also allow Denver to opt into a law that expands opportunities for cannabis consumption businesses. Those licensed businesses would be able to allow customers to smoke cannabis indoors, sell small amounts of cannabis, and allow customers to bring their own.

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The proposal would also legalize marijuana tour buses allowing consumption on buses to cater to marijuana tourists.

According to Ashley Kilroy, Denver’s executive director of excise and licenses, the city pulled together a committee of stakeholders that researched over two years that came up with a proposal to increase cannabis hospitality services and set up an equity procedure to assist communities of color. Oregon should learn from the work of Denver and move to implement similar proposals for Oregon. The beautiful Beaver State has embraced the local winery and microbrewery industries and it needs to do the same with cannabis. Time is of the essence to fully capitalize on the essential cannabis industry so that craft cannabis companies can thrive instead of just multinational corporations.

The U.S. Cannabis Industry Now Employs More than 320,000 People

As too many of us are all-too familiar, the job market is extremely tough these days. One of the few bright spots has been the cannabis industry which now employs more than 320,000 people across the United States, outpacing many other professions. On one hand, it’s rather remarkable that the industry has been able to accelerate hiring during the COVID pandemic while some states irrationally cling to prohibition and the many regulatory roadblocks placed in front of cannabis businesses. On the other hand, it isn’t surprising that more employees are needed to keep up with record-breaking sales across the country as more states and localities move towards legalizing regulated cannabis commerce.

From Leafly which just issued its 2021 jobs report, a collaboration with Whitney Economics:

Cannabis job growth in 2020 represents a doubling of the previous year’s US job growth. In 2019, the cannabis industry added 33,700 new US jobs for a total of 243,700.

Despite a year marked by a global pandemic, spiking unemployment, and economic recession, the legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs in the United States in 2020. That represents 32% year-over-year job growth, an astonishing figure in the worst year for US economic growth since World War II.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, many in the cannabis industry worried about a potential industry-wide shutdown. Instead, governors in most states declared cannabis an essential product. Dispensaries and retail stores responded by offering online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery as COVID-safe options for their customers.

I am so proud of relient cannabis entrepreneurs, especially craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, that give back to the community and provide quality jobs. While those on the outside see the big sales and revenue numbers making headlines, those without an intricate knowledge of the industry aren’t aware of the many headaches that cannabis businesses face. It’s amazing that mom-and-pops and other small to medium retailers are finding ways to overcome a lack of banking services, an exorbitant tax rate, and other regulatory hurdles to compete with multinational companies with shareholders and deep pocketbooks.

Cannabis Can Be a Big Part of an Economic and Jobs Stimulus Plan

The economic situation in the United States is extremely dire for millions of people as our nation recovers from the COVID pandemic. So many industries have been decimated and the American people across demographics need assistance. Some help appears to be on the way as Congress is debating a relief and stimulus package. While our elected officials debate the size of stimulus checks, whether to increase the minimum wage, or several other aspects of their next major economic bill, they should be making plans to assist the cannabis industry, one of our nation’s few bright spots.

As Iris Dorbian writes in Forbes, the cannabis industry is booming on one level, but beneath the surface, you can see major obstacles remain because of federal prohibition:

Unlike other industries that were badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, hiring in the legal cannabis industry has been booming. Experts attribute the industry’s designation as “essential” at the start of the outbreak as a key reason for the surge. However, challenges still mount. For instance, the industry may be growing exponentially, it is fragmented thanks to the federal illegality.

Federal law prevents or extremely complicated cannabis businesses’ access to banking accounts and other financial services while taxing companies at a ridiculous rate as normal business expenses cannot be deducted. While legal states announce record-breaking cannabis sales and revenue generation, small businesses, the lifeblood of our country’s economy are hindered while multinational corporations flourish. While it would be great for cannabis regulations to promote smaller operators, at the very least they should provide some type of even playing field. Instead, as usual, the mom-and-pops suffer disproportionately, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Craft cannabis boutique’s like Pendleton, Oregon’s Kind Leaf, are providing jobs, generating millions for important state programs, and give back to their local communities. By embracing the cannabis industry, the United States can improve our economy and improve lives.

Congress Should Pass Cannabis Banking for Economic and Public Safety Benefits

The fight to end federal cannabis prohibition is a multi-step process that sees the cannabis community win one political and cultural battle after another. From decriminalization to medical to legalization to equity, progress across the nation takes twists and turns as each state addresses its needs, with the federal government always playing catch up. One issue where the states need Uncle Sam to step up is banking. (And yes, the 280e IRS code as well.)

State-regulated cannabis businesses are providing an essential service in states, creating jobs and generating record-breaking revenue, but they are hamstrung by a lack of banking services that force too many businesses to conduct transactions in all-cash, without the benefit of potential loans or other financial services that they may need. While some banks will take on cannabis businesses, they often put in place extra fees and restrictions on those accounts, especially hurting smaller, locally-owned companies.

American Banker reported on the potential for Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act, as well as broader cannabis reform measures in the next two years:

A more welcoming political environment for marijuana banking also raises the odds that financial institutions will need to incorporate new compliance processes. This includes ensuring that any business they do with the legal marijuana sector complies with anti-money-laundering rules, regardless of any legislative reforms.

“The biggest undertaking for a financial institution interested in serving the cannabis industry is detailed compliance protocols and the staffing to implement them,” said Rachel Pross, chief operations officer at the Oregon-based Maps Credit Union, which already provides services to the industry. “At Maps, we maintain a ratio of one full-time employee for every 40 cannabis business accounts.”

The cannabis industry has long been seen as a golden opportunity for financial institutions, particularly community banks and credit unions, to expand revenue via a growing sector. But regulatory concerns about the federal marijuana ban have made many depository institutions nervous, despite continued efforts by states to legalize pot.

While big, multinational corporations can easily handle spending extra and hiring more people to deal with the additional workload, mom-and-pops just get extra hurdles placed in front of their American Dream. When you’re shares are being traded on the stock market, you have the cash reserves to easily hire extra security and oversight staff. If elected officials support small businesses and public safety, then they need to step up. Thankfully, help may be on the horizon.

Cannabis Taxes Help Local Businesses and Residents During Coronavirus Crisis

Cannabis sales and tax revenue numbers are one of the few bright spots within an American economy that is reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. When you support craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, you are helping support your local community in many ways, from providing jobs to your neighbors to helping fund various social programs that benefit your city, county, and state.

Unfortunately, the global health crisis has caused an economic collapse unlike anything that we’ve seen since the Great Depression. While many industries wonder how they are going to survive, cannabis commerce appear poised to remain strong. As government’s look for solutions, utilizing cannabis tax revenue effectively should be a part of any sensible policy proposal. Trinidad, Colorado, implemented a rainy day fund to assist local businesses and residents, a program that should be an example for other governments to follow, as Westword reports:

The southern Colorado town, fewer than fifteen miles from the New Mexico border, has used $100,000 in marijuana tax revenue from Trinidad’s 25 dispensaries to provide utility stipends for residents, as well as $300,000 for rent and utility relief for local businesses and $100,000 for extra funding split between the town’s hospital and the Las Animas County Health Department to fight COVID-19.

Trinidad economic development coordinator Wally Wallace says that one-third of local marijuana tax revenue is set aside for a “rainy-day fund,” which has been flush over the last several years. After COVID-19 spread across Colorado, Trinidad staffers feared that a drop in tax revenue during the first quarter of 2020 was inevitable — but Trinidad dispensaries broke a sales record during that period, putting $853,000 in tax revenue at the city’s disposal right after statewide stay-home orders were implemented.

“We’ve been setting aside money for that rainy-day fund for a while, which has been fantastic. When COVID-19 came in, we were trying to figure out how to react and help our local businesses while the federal and state governments were still trying to do the same,” Wallace says. “We understand this pandemic is still going on, and we still might see some drastic changes. People maybe were panic buying early on, but that being said, we’re still shocked about the lines outside of dispensaries right now.”

Over 100 neighborhood businesses have been assisted by the relief fund and local residents can apply for up to $250 for help making utility payments during these trying times. As circumstances change over time, cities and states should adapt to various needs and be flexible with cannabis tax revenue. Of course, these officials should be doing all that they can to help the cannabis industry thrive, including adding their voices and resources to federal lobbying efforts around fair banking and tax laws.

When you shop at Kind Leaf, you get to select from the biggest and best selection in the Great Northwest AND you’re helping a small business that truly benefits the local community.

Oregon Attorney General Joins Bipartisan Coalition Urging Cannabis Banking Access

It is rather incredible that cannabis businesses keep breaking sales records (two months in a row in Oregon!) with so many regulatory obstacles put in their way. Local, state, and federal laws and rules stifle cannabis entrepreneurs unlike any other industry, yet the hardworking folks keep the Mary Jane train chugging along.

The lack of access to normal banking services is one of the most burdensome prohibitions, hindering not only cannabis businesses, but also everyone that they conduct business with, from their landlord to their insurance company to their attorney. Additionally, forcing businesses to be cash only is a danger to our communities.

Thankfully, common sense banking reform could be on the horizon with the U.S. House passing a coronavirus relief bill that includes the SAFE cannabis banking act. In addition to a majority of federal representatives supporting cannabis banking access, a supermajority of state attorneys general are urging Uncle Sam pass the SAFE Act. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joins 33 other AGs, forming a formidable bipartisan alliance. Marijuana Moment reported:

First, the public safety threat of operating on a largely cash-only basis has been exacerbated amid the crisis. Second, large cash transactions “places law enforcement, tax regulators, consumers, and patients at heightened risk of exposure to the virus.” Third, access to financial institutions would make it easier to collect tax revenue from marijuana sales, which is particularly needed to offset economic shortfalls due to the health crisis.

“The current predicament of a rapidly expanding national marketplace without access to the national banking systems has resulted in an untenable situation,” the officials wrote. “We stress that current legislative models are available to fix this situation.”

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The letter goes on to say that passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act as part of coronavirus relief legislation would not represent an endorsement of cannabis legalization by Congress. “Rather, it reflects a recognition of the realities on the ground and an embrace of our federalist system of government that is flexible enough to accommodate divergent state approaches,” they said.

As usual for the cannabis community, passing the SAFE Act won’t be easy as passage in the Senate faces many hurdles. However, the progress that we’ve made among politicans and top law enforcement officers across the nation and political spectrum, bode well for the future of the movement and industry.

You can read the entire letter from the 34 attorneys general here.