A bipartisan bill to allow cannabis businesses to access banking services in the U.S. got its first-ever committee hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Denver Post reports.
The bills sponsors Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Washington) have attempted to get similar bills considered by the House but were unable due to Republican control for nearly six years.
“We’ve had robberies. We’ve had murders. We’ve had violence. We have to stop that. For Colorado and the nation as a whole, this would help resolve access to banking. It provides more certainty. It helps the employees, it helps the banks. It’s going to assist the industry generally by allowing legitimate businesses to get legitimate banking services.” — Rep. Ed Perlmutter, via the Denver Post
The bill is worded to also help landlords, electricians, and others who serve the cannabis industry. Many businesses that serve the cannabis industry but don’t handle cannabis directly, for example, have been having problems. For instance in 2017, many cannabis and ancillary businesses had their accounts closed by major banking institutions due to concerns about federal interference.
Perlmutter expects the bill to be introduced to the House, and likely a companion bill to the Senate, within the next two to three weeks.