This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved measures urging for the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. This would open the door for banks to work with marijuana businesses. States could also determine their own approach without concern of federal interference.
Passage of resolutions requires 75-percent support from states represented at a general business meeting, according to Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
In the resolution, it reads, “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Conference of State Legislatures believes that the Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove cannabis from scheduling thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Conference of State Legislatures acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and sometimes conflicting views of cannabis and how to regulate it, but in allowing each state to craft its own regulations we may increase transparency, public safety, and economic development where it is wanted.”
In 2016, a resolution to reschedule marijuana to a lower classification was approved by the NCSL. Prior to that, in 2015, the NCSL passed a resolution saying that, “federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference.”
Congress is mulling over several marijuana-related bills hoping to fix banking issues and aid in fixing tax codes relating to state-approved marijuana businesses.
Karen O’Keefe of MPP said, “State legislators and the vast majority of voters agree that marijuana policy should be left to the states. Legitimate, taxpaying marijuana businesses should not have to ace the difficulties of operating on a cash-only basis. Allowing banks to offer them financial services will be good for the industry and benefit public safety. Even more so, states should not have to worry about the federal government interfering with their marijuana policy choices.”
Photo: ncsl .org