U.S. Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Cannabis Industry's Banking Challenges
Statement below from Steve Hawkins of the Marijuana Policy Project
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing to discuss the various financial challenges facing the legal cannabis industry. The hearing, titled “Challenges for Cannabis and Banking: Outside Perspectives,” reflects the increasing pressure on Congress to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would prevent federal financial regulators from punishing financial institutions that provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses.
“Access to banking is a persistent obstacle for cannabis businesses. We should allow this growing industry to operate with the same financial services available to every other industry in this country,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's leading cannabis policy reform group. “Restricted access to banking limits economic growth and becomes a public safety issue by forcing companies to rely on cash to conduct their business. Congress must take legislative action to solve this problem."
This hearing comes just two weeks after the first-ever congressional hearing that discussed ending federal cannabis prohibition and serves as a clear indicator that cannabis policy reform continues to gain bipartisan support.