Congressman Heck Introduces Marijuana Banking Amendments
This NORML article is now 10+ days old but worth keeping on file for useful information about the latest back and forth in DC over banking issues for highly regulated industries & cannabis.
Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) with Representatives Perlmutter (CO-07), Lee (CA-13), and Titus (NV-01) have submitted two amendments to the financial services division to be included in the House appropriations bill. Both of these amendments focus on banking services for legal marijuana-related businesses and would be a temporary fix until the current legislation, the SAFE Banking Act, is passed into law.
The first amendment prohibits any funds in the bill from being used to punish banks for serving marijuana businesses that are legal under state law. The second amendment prohibits the Treasury from altering FinCEN’s guidance to financial institutions on providing banking services to legitimate marijuana businesses. These amendments, if included, would allow for legal marijuana-related business to operate according to state laws and enjoy access to the banking system.
According to a recently released paper (paywall) from economists at the University of Oregon, huge amounts of legally purchased marijuana spill over from Washington into other states. They estimate that about 7.5% of the marijuana sold in Washington leaves the state, and that the number was closer to 12% before neighboring Oregon legalized recreational sales in late 2015. In the months before Oregon’s legalization, the researchers believe well over 300 kilograms of marijuana poured across Washington’s border.
Yet on the other side of the equation
Study Finds Little Evidence to Support Claims that Legal Marijuana is Diverted to Illegal States
SAN DIEGO, CA — There is little evidence to substantiate claims that large quantities of cannabis produced legally in adult use states are being diverted to neighboring jurisdictions where the plant remains illegal, according to an analysis published online ahead of print in the Boston College Law Review. A professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego argues, “As constructed, marijuana legalization laws make it unlikely that legally produced marijuana will be diverted to other states for sale.”
This is because existing adult use regulatory laws place limits regarding the quantities of cannabis that may be legally grown and distributed, enforce oversight measures like ‘seed-to-sale’ tracking, and impose numerous regulatory fees that inflate production costs to a level that makes it difficult for legal providers to undercut black market retail prices.
Illinois Legislature hears pros, cons on marijuana legalization
SPRINGFIELD – Law enforcement officials and drug-policy experts took sharply differing stands Wednesday on whether Illinois should legalize general use of marijuana. Advocates for legislation pending in the Legislature told a joint House-Senate appropriations committee that it would allow a widely used product to be safely regulated.
AG tells agency to halt part of Iowa’s medical marijuana law
An unusual attempt by Iowa to work with another state to transport medical marijuana oil across state lines is on hold amid legal concerns it could invite scrutiny from the federal government. The Iowa Attorney General’s office advised the Iowa Department of Public Health this month that it should not implement a small section in Iowa’s new medical marijuana law that requires the state, before the end of the year, to license up to two “out-of-state” dispensaries from a bordering state. Those entities would have been expected to bring cannabis oil into Iowa in order to sell it.
Scott Creates Commission To Focus On Marijuana Legalization Issues
Gov. Phil Scott has signed an executive order that creates a special marijuana advisory commission to focus on legalization issues.
After House Republicans blocked a legalization bill at the end of the legislative session, Scott said that he would create a commission through an executive order.
The order creates a 13-person panel that will study highway safety concerns, education and prevention issues, and how the state could tax and regulate the sale of pot.