One of the most powerful Senate committees on Thursday approved a measure for banking reform that eases restrictions on banks looking to work with cannabis businesses, a major step forward for cannabis professionals and businesses alike.
Many of the nation’s banks must eschew doing business with cannabis dispensaries, for fear of running afoul of federal law designating cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Even in states where recreational cannabis is legal.
Financial institutions could find themselves facing federal charges of money laundering if found to be conducting transactions with cannabis businesses. Because of credit card companies’ hesitance, some cannabis dispensaries have been forced to conduct their transactions entirely in cash.
Despite these hardships, this year has brought some good news on the banking front. Increasing numbers of banks and credit unions have signaled an openness to dealing with cannabis growers and dispensaries.
With the door to banks…