Congress readies for marijuana banking hearing

A House Financial Services subcommittee is set to hold a hearing examining access to banking services for cannabis-related businesses.

“We’re trying to examine how outdated banking regulations on the federal level are hindering reform on the state level when it comes to marijuana,” said Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks, chairman of the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee. “Hopefully, the hearing will allow us to ascertain what steps we can take to encourage economic growth and public safety in that space.”

More than 30 states have legalized some form of cannabis use, but it is still federally prohibited — making banks hesitant to serve legal cannabis-related businesses.

The American Bankers Association (ABA) says even in the “climate of non-enforcement” the majority of financial institutions “will not take the legal, regulatory, or reputational risk associated with banking cannabis-related businesses without congressional action.”

continue reading »