WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) has a plan to provide the cannabis industry with access to the banking system.
Gardner has introduced and supported the STATES Act with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) previously, legislation that would protect federal authorities from interfering with cannabis businesses operating in accordance with state law. Gardner’s new plan to amend federal banking regulations to allow cannabis businesses to use banking services would be a part of the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill.
The lack of banking services for the cannabis industry is widely seen as one of the largest problems for businesses in the sector. Cannabis dispensaries are often forced to keep both infused products and cash under the same root, which can make them a target for criminals. It also can prevent transparency as shops often have to operate on an all-cash basis, meaning electronic transactions cannot be performed or recorded. This also makes raising capital difficult as businesses have to turn to investors instead of accessing the same loans many other small businesses rely on.
Many business leaders and cannabis advocates have been calling for access to banking for years.
“Banking has been an issue that has long plagued owners across the industry,” Jason Warf, Executive Director of the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council told mg.
“Senator Gardner has not historically been a proponent of cannabis, we are cautiously optimistic that this will benefit our owners, in their struggle to retain reliable banking.”