House of Representatives Votes to Open Banking for Cannabis Businesses

Two votes show bipartisan support for cannabis businesses to access banking services

NCIA Executive Director: “This is a huge step forward for the legal cannabis industry.”

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives cast two votes today in support of opening up banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses. By a vote of 231-192, the House passed an amendment to the Financial Services appropriations bill, forbidding the use of federal funds to penalize financial institutions that serve marijuana businesses operating legally under state law. The amendment was sponsored by Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

By a vote of 236-186, the House also rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), that would have blocked the implementation of guidance issued by the Department of the Treasury in February, intended to lay out a road map for banks seeking to serve the cannabis industry.

“This is a huge step forward for the legal cannabis industry,” said National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith. “Access to basic banking services is one of the most critical challenges facing legal cannabis businesses and the state agencies tasked with regulating them.”

“Now that a bipartisan coalition in the House has voted to fix the problem, it’s time for the Senate to take swift action to ensure that this sensible policy becomes the law of the land.”
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