The bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) with 140 Democratic and 12 Republican co-sponsors, would allow banks to work with dispensaries, growers and other cannabis businesses, bringing traditionally cash enterprises into the financial system.
Currently, federal law prevents banks from servicing marijuana businesses, even as states increasingly are allowing the legal use of cannabis. Banks have been pushing for Congress to clear up the legal ambiguity to allow them to tap into a growing and lucrative industry and bring that money into the financial system.
“Huge piles of cash are developed by these businesses and particularly create real public safety hazards,” Perlmutter said at the markup. “We can get the cash off the street so this public safety element is no longer a problem that it is today.”
“This is the first markup of any bill concerning this particular issue,” he said.
Waters called the bill, “a thoughtful piece of legislation that addresses the serious and growing problem across the country.”
She added that she is hopeful other committees will take up marijuana reforms and that the “House does not take a once and done approach.”
“It is the single largest re-write of drug policy this Congress has undertaken,” he said. “We’ve done that with one hearing.”
The bill is expected to pass the House but could face an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Read more from the source: TheHill.com