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. Cup says:

      This is very encouraging. I wonder how much money this will save marijuana retailers. Maybe if they can start doing business with banks directly they can cut costs and the price of an ounce of marijuana where it is legalized can come down.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Sweet baby Jesus !

    3. Ray says:

      @NORML- Do you know if this Marijuana amendment will include the large scale farming of industrial hemp in states that it is legal?

      Allowing American farmers access to credit and bank loans would speed up our hemp farming process. This could be worth billions.

      [Editor’s note: The banking amendment did not address industrial hemp production.]

    4. Fireweed says:

      Yay! Another nail in the coffin of prohibition!!!!

    5. Jono says:

      This isn’t that big of a deal. I still have to buy my reefer from illicit dealers.

    6. Raven says:

      Now if they could just vote on the CSA’s cannabis schedule 1 status.

    7. Ray says:

      [Editor’s note: The banking amendment did not address industrial hemp production.]

      That’s too bad because industrial hemp is still the Billion dollar crop. The tax revenue alone would rebuild cities in our mid west. It would also turn the US into a giant CO 2 scrubbing machine if we planted enough.

      I’m happy to hear the banking industry is getting onboard. It proves that you are getting the message across.

    8. Dennis E Strausser Jr says:

      This is another step in the right direction. After so many years, prohibition on cannabis is finally nearing it’s end. The possibility that DC might soon do it, is an indication that the days of cannabis prohibition are numbered.
      It’s just a matter of time, until it comes to PA as well. Even Tom Corbett has said, something changes Federally, he’ll consider it. I hope his days are numbered though, as I am hoping for Tom Wolf to take over as Governor. At one time, I wanted to run for something. I still have it at the back of my mind, but when I would try, idk.

      I can not wait, it’ll be nice having a couple plants, and having the police not be able to do anything about it.

    9. Cleveland Green says:

      I sent my representative your form email letter.
      Can Norml post a link for me to see how He voted.
      Being political active is more fun if you can keep score.

    10. Julian says:

      To appreciate the irony; The Texas GOP is “for” hemp; but the Texas GOP is against hemp. Go figure!

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