DENVER – Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Governors of 21 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands sent a bipartisan letter urging Congress to include legislation in the final 2022 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 that would allow states with legalized medical or adult-use cannabis to operate safely under the national banking system.
“It’s time for Congress to allow cannabis-related businesses to have better access to the banking system and operate with normal bank accounts,” said Governor Polis. “Thank you to Congressman Ed Perlmutter who has continually pushed for legislation to address this important issue. After years of cannabis being legal in a multitude of states, it is long overdue for cannabis businesses to finally financially operate alongside other businesses in the open national banking system.”
“Medical and recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. were estimated to total $17.5 billion last year, but because of antiquated federal banking regulations, almost all cannabis transactions are cash-based. Not only are cash-only businesses targets for crime, cannabis businesses are further disadvantaged compared to other legal businesses by being unable to open bank accounts or obtain loans at reasonable rates,” the letter from the Governors reads.
“The SAFE Banking Amendment will remedy these harms and help keep communities in our states and territories safe by allowing legitimate and legal cannabis companies to access banking services. Financial institutions will subject the funds and account holders to rigorous anti-money laundering and “Know Your Customer” requirements that will further help states where cannabis has been made legal to keep bad actors out of the system,” the letter continues.
Currently, 37 states, four U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have passed recreational or medical cannabis legalization measures.
Read the letter.
Source: Press release from Governor Polis’ office on November 10, 2021