The federal prohibition on state-licensed cannabis businesses accessing the traditional banking system has forced the industry to be largely cash-based. Aside from being inconvenient, this also makes cannabis businesses and their employees targets, sometimes with tragic results. makes cannabis businesses more difficult to audit. Giving cannabis businesses access to traditional banks would be beneficial to business operators, their employees and customers, in addition to the financial services institutions that would serve them.
The federal government shouldn’t lift the ban on cannabis businesses accessing the banking system until federal marijuana laws are reformed more broadly to account for legalization by states, and Congress shouldn’t pass this legislation because it’s a backdoor to marijuana legalization that would allow Wall Street to throw its financial weight behind marijuana legalization. Alternatively, this bill is unnecessary because hundreds of banks and credit unions are already doing business with marijuana-related businesses.