For safety and economic recovery, Congress must prioritize cannabis banking

For safety and economic recovery, Congress must prioritize cannabis banking

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, people are staying home, limiting trips outside the house except for essential business. For millions of Americans, those essential trips include visits to cannabis dispensaries. Despite its federal status, cannabis has been deemed essential in most states where it is legal for medical or adult use. 

Yet the cannabis industry and those that it serves are disadvantaged by federal laws, which now, more than ever, have introduced avoidable risk and danger into the legal cannabis market. Federal lawmakers must act quickly to address these issues.  

Currently, under federal law, cannabis businesses that comply with state laws are blocked from access to the most basic banking services, such as holding checking accounts or accepting credit card payments. This means companies like mine, a multistate cannabis company, conduct all our sales in cash. In this COVID-19 environment, there are two main risks associated with operating in physical currency. 

First, cash itself is “dirty” to handle. As other essential businesses implement contactless payments and protocols to limit cash transactions in an effort to minimize the spread of the virus, the cannabis industry cannot, exposing employees and customers to additional and unnecessary risk. 

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Published at Tue, 26 May 2020 19:23:01 +0000

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