House Approves Amendment to Allow Financial Institutions to Work With Marijuana Businesses

  • by NORML July 16, 2014

    This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 231 to 192 in favor of the Heck-Perlmutter-Lee-Rohrabacher Amendment, which will restrict Treasury Department and SEC funds from being spent to penalize financial institutions for providing services to marijuana related business that operate according to state law. This proposal amends H.R. 5016, a spending bill for fiscal year 2015 that funds the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department, and Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The amendment reads:

    “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, or Wisconsin or the District of Columbia, to prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage a financial institution from providing financial services to an entity solely because the entity is a manufacturer, producer, or person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana products and engages in such activity pursuant to a law established by a State or a unit of local government.”

    This vote comes on the heels of another recent historic vote in the House of Representatives, that restricted Department of Justice and DEA funds from being used to interfere in state approved medical marijuana programs. That measure is still awaiting action in the US Senate. This measure, HR 5106, will now be sent to the Senate as well.

    “The recent votes in the House of Representatives demonstrate bi-partisan support at the federal level to allow states to experiment with new marijuana policies, free from federal interference,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “If implemented, this amendment will help alter the current untenable status quo that forces otherwise law abiding businesses to operate on a cash only basis, making them a target for criminal actions and unduly burdening their operations.”

    39 responses to “House Approves Amendment to Allow Financial Institutions to Work With Marijuana Businesses”

    1. J says:

      This is HUGE!!!

    2. Carl Sheerer says:


    3. Anonymous1 says:

      Progress at it’s finest.

    4. Yoster says:

      I am constantly surprised by what this Republican led house can actually pass. Lets get these landmark bills signed and enacted.

    5. Dave Evans says:

      Wow, look at that! The government working to help make society better.

    6. Jim Rogers says:

      The wheels of Progress turn slowly , but they are turning.

    7. Anonymous says:

      Only 33 states are listed in the amendment? What about the other 17 states – Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming?

    8. Wut says:

      I’m a little dense on this one.

      So I’m guessing this has to pass the Senate, just like the restrict funds from the DEA to conduct raids on marijuana businesses? Still waiting.

      Does this mean banks are allowed to do business with marijuana businesses? The IRS is cool with this?

      [Paul Armentano responds: Correct. Any House provision must also be approved by the majority of the US Senate and then signed into law by the President before taking effect. This is step 1 in a multi-tiered legislative process.]

    9. Thomas says:

      Not Pennsylvania? Come on.

    10. Julian says:

      WooHoooooo…. YEaH! Clap clap clllll… Waitasecond… Texas is NOT on this list… REALLY? Sooo… Democratic candidates this November can just say “I would have voted for that.”
      Just keeep diggin deeper Republicans…