Congress considers bill to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-30 08:25:38-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The U.S. Congress could take action to make it easier for marijuana businesses to handle their money. A House Committee voted to move what is being called the Safe Banking Act to the full House for consideration.

Right now marijuana businesses are not allowed to work with traditional banks. Federal law threatens FDIC insured banks with a loss of that FDIC insurance if they break the law and right now it is illegal for banks to work with businesses selling illegal drugs. At the federal level that includes marijuana.

It forces marijuana businesses to operate as a mostly cash business and leads to security challenges.

“It definitely has the potential to put people at risk without the ability to move cash into a bank. I think by opening these doors there will be a lot less of these incidents where people break into provisioning centers,” said Evan Pilot, Financial Controller at the Reef, a provisioning center in Detroit.

The Safe Banking Act is co-sponsored by 152 Democrats and 12 Republicans.