The federal Marijuana Banking Bill continues its state of limbo while lawmakers bicker over the details. Once again, Colorado’s governor and other state officials are pleading for Congress to take action and pass the bipartisan bill before this year’s session closes.
Time is of the essence. Those in the business of selling cannabis products do not have access to safe banking and financial services due to the federal government’s refusal to once and for all codify legalized pot. The cite they severe impact imposed upon small and minority-owned businesses in particular.
With all the progress since marijuana was legalized comes challenges undermining what has been a successful venture for the state. Lacking access to federally-insured banking services and electronic payment processing goes beyond inconvenience. Businesses handling large amounts of cash have caught the attention of the criminal element looking for a fast and easy score.
The SAFE Banking Act passed the house seven times, only to be stopped in the Senate. The latest volley sees the bill enacted as part of a package of cannabis-related proposals currently being finalized.
Lacking access to standard banking and electronic purchases, the lack of action creates a modern-day Wild West where storefront heists have become all too common. Marijuana and related products have come a long way, gaining acceptance by most Coloradans and residents of other states. Continuing the current dynamic will impact the budding industry.