State AGs Call for Legal Clarity on Banking Legitimate Cannabis Businesses

In letter to congressional leaders today, a bipartisan group of 38 state attorneys general urged lawmakers to advance legislation allowing banks to serve marijuana-related businesses in states where the drug is legal.

The AGs noted that limited access to financial services has forced many legal cannabis businesses to operate in cash, which creates tax-related challenges in addition to being a public safety risk. They expressed support for the SAFE Banking Act—an ABA-supported bill that was recently approved by the House Financial Services Committee—or similar legislation that would provide a safe harbor for depository institutions serving legal MRBs.

“Our banking system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states and territories. . . while protecting the interests of the federal government,” the AGs wrote. “This includes a banking system for marijuana-related businesses that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy.”