House Votes To Allow Banking Access For Marijuana Businesses

Signaling growing acceptance of cannabis legalization nationally, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to allow banks to provide traditional banking services to marijuana businesses that are legal under state law.

Sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the amendment to the Financial Services appropriations bill prevents the Treasury Department from spending funds to penalize financial institutions that provide services to state-legal marijuana businesses. The amendment passed with bipartisan support, 231 to 192.

The House also rejected an amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), that would have blocked Department of Treasury guidelines issued back in February that are intended to increase banking access for pot shops.

“Congress is yet again rejecting the failed war on marijuana,” Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “They have read the poll numbers and are doing...

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