It has always been widespread knowledge that working in the cannabis industry is dangerous in many different ways. From the threat of federal interference to the threat of robbery, there are many things to worry about when operating a state legal cannabis business. The biggest worry for most members of many legal marijuana businesses is the fact that they are still not permitted to legally open accounts with a bank. In an industry that generated over 6 billion dollars
last year, it is shocking that much of this income cannot be legally banked.
Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter from Colorado is attempting to fix that. He recently introduced a bill in the House that would allow members of the cannabis industry to open bank accounts, obtain loans, and use credit cards, all things that are currently not permitted under federal law. The bill, known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act), currently has 28 bi-partisan co-sponsors from states where some form of marijuana is legal and states where it is not.
Should the bill pass, it would quickly eliminate the need for dispensaries and other marijuana businesses to have large amounts of cash on hand. No longer will people who are operating legal, regulated, tax-paying businesses be forced to hide piles of cash and act like they are criminals. As Rep. Perlmutter has stated, “Allowing tightly regulated marijuana businesses the ability to access the banking system will help reduce the threat of crime, robbery and assault in our communities and keep the cash out of cartels.”
The SAFE Banking Act, if passed, would be a massive step towards full legalization and regulation. With almost 60% of the states in America with some form of legalized marijuana, it is absolutely ridiculous for the federal government to continue fighting a losing battle. People have been robbed of their hard-earned money solely because they do not have the ability to legally create a bank account or bank electronically. Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Perlmutter and other kind-hearted and intelligent Congresspeople, legal marijuana’s future in the United States is looking ever so slightly brighter.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.