Congress has just helped out the legal marijuana industry in a big way! On Wednesday, July 16, the House of Representatives decided to pass two amendments that will permit marijuana businesses to function similar to other businesses. The Senate has yet to approve, but voting should take place later this summer.
Since the start of the legal marijuana movement, businesses engaged in the sale of marijuana have struggled to obtain financial assistance from safe and reliable banks. This was primarily because marijuana is still federally illegal despite any states’ laws legalizing the drug. Therefore, banks were afraid of the potential penalties that could arise from working with businesses engaged in the production, manufacture, and sale of the federally illegal substance.
However, now that fear can be put to rest. Banks can begin working and providing much needed services to legal marijuana businesses without fear of prosecution. The new amendments just recently approved by the House of Representatives will help marijuana businesses obtain financial services such as capital, loans, and safe deposits from large national banks.
One amendment specifically prohibits the federal government from penalizing banks that are managing money for marijuana businesses in legalized states. The other amendment gives leeway for a Treasury Department plan that permits banks to handle revenues stemming from legal marijuana businesses.
This is a revolutionary change for the entire legal marijuana industry. Marijuana businesses can now operate in the same capacity as other businesses without incurring additional risk. This new advancement makes legal marijuana businesses safer and less risky for business owners and consumers alike.
Optimistically, this recent move by Congress will spur more states to propose and pass laws legalizing marijuana and promoting the success of this new promising industry!