A coalition of 20 congressional Democrats is urging Treasury Department officials to update federal guidance to prevent financial institutions from discriminating against cannabis business owners over prior cannabis-related activity that’s since been made legal at the state level.

In a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Andrea Gacki on Tuesday, the bicameral lawmakers said that the existing Obama-era guidance “predates action by many states to legalize cannabis possession and sales, and it unnecessarily red flags businesses whose owners have been engaged in cannabis activities that are no longer criminalized at the state level.”

The thinking is that, as the Biden administration and congressional lawmakers continue to pursue incremental cannabis reform amid the state-level cannabis legalization movement, federal financial agencies should modernize their guidance in a way that stops regulators from taking unnecessary adverse action against cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state laws.

“The updated guidance should clarify that if a cannabis-related act has been expunged, pardoned, is no longer illegal under state law, or is not disqualifying for obtaining a state cannabis license or permit (i.e., ‘state-sanctioned cannabis activity’), then financial institutions should not consider that offense a ‘red flag’ when conducting customer due diligence of cannabis businesses,” the lawmakers said in the letter, first reported by Punchbowl News.

Read more at marijuanamoment.net