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A bill designed to ease banks’ fears about providing services to the marijuana industry, HB 4094, passed in the Oregon House and is moving to the Senate for a final vote.

Oregon’s marijuana industry is in the midst a cash crisis. Federal law places a restrictive burden on banks who might provide services to legal marijuana businesses, leaving the industry flooded with cash — a dangerous proposition.

The bill amends state law to remove liability from banks who do business with legal marijuana, and also compels the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to explore a new banking reform plan.

“This is an important first step in reducing risk and providing security for banks, credit unions, and the public,” said Tobias Read, the bill’s sponsor in the House of Representatives. It is a temporary solution, but a much-needed one.

Advocates hope that the move by Oregon will send a signal to Congress that banking reform for legal cannabis is needed at the federal level.

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