Rory Savatgy

National Conference of State Legislatures Call for Cannabis’ Removal from CSA

The National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan non-government organization, has passed a resolution calling for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, “thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses.”

“The National Conference of State Legislatures acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and sometimes conflicting views of cannabis and how to regulate it, but in allowing each state to craft its own regulations we may increase transparency, public safety, and economic development where it is wanted,” the resolution states.

The NCSL members cite a variety of reasons for their conclusions, including the enactment of medical cannabis laws in 29 states plus U.S. territories Guam and Puerto Rico, and adult-use regimes in eight others plus Washington, D.C. Further, the organization argues that the cash-only nature of the industry “attracts criminal activity and creates substantial public safety risks; and … reduces transparency in accounting and makes it difficult for the state to implement an effective regulatory regime that ensures compliance.”

Additionally, the authors point out that forcing cannabis business to pay their taxes in cash is a burden to both businesses and the state, the latter of which must “develop new infrastructure to handle the influx of cash.”

“States have been forced to take expensive security measures to mitigate public safety risks to taxpayers utilizing the system, state employees and the public at large; and … states do not have any control over the enforcement of federal laws and cannot enact legislation that provides banks and credit unions with protections necessary to overcome federal law,” the resolution says.

None of the NCSL executive committee officers come from a state with an adult-use program and just two of the seven come from states with a comprehensive medical cannabis regime.

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