“It doesn’t make sense to treat legal, regulated businesses like illicit drug dealers”
Michigan’s state lawmakers are joining a national effort to change federal laws regarding marijuana banking.
Tuesday state Reps. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, and Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, as well as state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, said they planned to introduce concurrent resolutions urging Congress to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.
Banking money is a giant barrier to progress in the marijuana industry, as most banks — especially those that operate nationwide — won’t accept marijuana money. That’s because marijuana is still considered illegal at the federal level.
“It doesn’t make sense to treat legal, regulated businesses like illicit drug dealers,” Hertel said in a statement. “By forcing business owners to carry around duffel bags full of cash or purchase old banks so they are able to utilize the buildings’ existing vaults, we are openly inviting criminals, thieves, and thugs to engage in money laundering, robbery and extortion. It’s time we put an end to this, and Congress has the power to act to protect our communities and our families.”
The proposed law, H.R. 1595, would prevent federal officials from penalizing banks and financial institutions that accept money from marijuana businesses. It is currently before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
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