US (PA): Cannabis banking bill could expand access for businesses, patients

While medical cannabis is legal in Pennsylvania and there's an ongoing push to legalize recreational use, federal prohibition makes banks and insurance companies hesitant to do business with cannabis companies.

The risk of following state law but violating federal law complicates efforts to redirect black-market drug sales into legal and regulated channels. A proposed bill, SB1167, won't change federal law, but it could expand cannabis-related businesses' access to financial institutions.

The legislation would explicitly authorize financial institutions and insurers to provide services to cannabis-related businesses. It is companion legislation to proposed federal legislation to ensure working with medical cannabis businesses wouldn't make other businesses criminally liable.

"The SAFE Banking Act extends the provision of financial and insurance services to state legal cannabis businesses by granting safe harbor from adverse regulatory and legal action," Sens. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin/Perry, and Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, said in a legislative memo. If passed, it could expand access to medical cannabis.


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