Federal legislation that would allow banks and other financial institutions to provide services to marijuana businesses that are legal under their state’s law has been passed by a key House panel.
According to Reuters, the bill would provide sought-after clarity to banks across the country that want to do business with the growing marijuana industry, where companies have struggled to gain access to the financial system. The issue is especially relevant now that 10 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes; over 30 have passed some form of medical marijuana legalization.
The measure was broadly backed by a mixture of Democrats and Republicans. It now proceeds to the full House, where it is expected to be passed by the Democrat-led chamber in the near future. However, the bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-led Senate, according to analysts.
“While all but 3 states allow for some form of legal cannabis use, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level”, states Reuters. “That has left banks largely unwilling to do business with businesses that sell marijuana or related enterprises, out of concern they could run afoul of federal laws.
In particular, banks are wary that