On August 24, the Washington department of Financial Institution joined forces with 12 other states, urging Congressional leaders to provide clarity on regulations for serving state-licensed cannabis businesses. This request to Congress is an act of persistence – as it is not the first time this action has been implored.
Governors, state Attorney Generals, and state banking associations have previously requested Congressional clarity, and permanent solutions, for banking issues in the industry. All prior attempts have failed.
In the August 24 letter, authored by Robin L. Weissmann, Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, 13 state banking regulators requested Congress to develop legislation that creates safe harbor for financial institutions to service the cannabis businesses that are operating legally under state law. The letter emphasizes: as more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, the importance for financial institutions to be able help these business clients protect their assets will continue to grow.
Without this legislation, this “cash and carry” industry will continue to raise concerns regarding public safety, tracking the flow of funds, and utilizing the services of traditional financial institutions.
Hopefully this plea will be the catalyst to finally define this landscape for both financial institutions and cannabis businesses. The current banking situation is unsafe and the federal government must develop a permanent solution.