Removing Barriers Blog

Senate FSGG Amendment Supports Marijuana Banking
Posted June 21, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Last week, Democratic Senators Jeff Merkely (D-OR) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to prohibit federal bank regulators from penalizing credit unions and banks for providing financial services to marijuana businesses that operate in the 25 states that have legalized marijuana use.  

"The federal government should not be forcing Oregon's legal marijuana businesses to carry gym bags full of cash to pay their taxes, employees and bills," Merkley said. "We need to enable our banks to serve these legal businesses without fearing devastating reprisals from the federal government." 

Murray added that "this amendment is really about providing clarity, stability and security for our banks, credit unions and small-business owners who want to be able to operate in full daylight." 

The amendment to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 16-14 vote last week, with Democrats largely supporting the amendment and most Republicans opposing it. While this amendment is not very substantial to credit unions, banks, and marijuana businesses, it is an indication that the industry is gaining more support among lawmakers.