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US: "The cannabis industry is too large to be prohibited from banking opportunities”

A bipartisan coalition of two dozen governors is urging congressional leaders to finally enact marijuana banking reform through large-scale defense legislation.

In a letter sent to top lawmakers in the House and Senate on Tuesday, state officials state that the SAFE Banking Act should be attached to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act. The SAFE Act  “will allow cannabis businesses to access normal banking services, which will transition fully cash-based cannabis transactions into the financial system where they belong.” 

“Thirty-seven states, four U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have passed some form of adult-use or medical cannabis legalization measures,” the governors wrote. “Medical and adult-use cannabis sales in the U.S. were estimated to total $17.5 billion last year, but because of antiquated federal banking regulations, almost all cannabis transactions are cash-based.”

“Not only are cash-only businesses targets for crime, cannabis businesses are further disadvantaged compared to other legal businesses by being unable to open bank accounts or obtain loans at reasonable rates,” the letter states. “The cannabis industry is legal in some form in the majority of U.S. states and it is too large of a market to be prohibited from banking opportunities.”

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