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Congress’s First Cannabis Hearing in 2019 About New Bank Regs

Cannabis Bank

With Democrats controlling the House, a hearing has finally been scheduled to discuss a solution to marijuana business banking regulations. The legislation is titled “Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.”

The hearing will be with a subcommittee House Financial Services Committee on Feb 13, according to Forbes. The 2014 Cole Memo tried to fix this issue.

“When we introduced this bill six years ago, we warned that forcing these businesses to deal in cash was threatening public safety,” said Rep. Denny Heck. “No hearing was given.”

The hearing indicates a signal from the Democrats that marijuana legalization could see some movement this year.

Heck stated, “Chairwoman Waters has made it one of her first priorities to address this urgent and overdue issue, demonstrating that she understands the threat to public safety and the need for Congress to act. We have a bipartisan proposal to allow well-regulated marijuana businesses to handle their money in a way that is safe and effective for law enforcement to track. I am eager to get to the work of refining it and passing it into law.”

Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has indicated that fixing the gap between state and federal marijuana laws hinders what federally chartered banks can do when it comes to these businesses.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “I assure you that we don’t want bags of cash. We do want to find a solution to make sure that businesses that have large access to cash have a way to get them into a depository institution for it to be safe.”