New Appropriations Language Protects Legally Operating Cannabis Businesses and Financial Institutions

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WASHINGTON, DC – Thanks to the leadership of Congressman David Joyce (R-OH) and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL), the latest draft of the House Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill includes a provision prohibiting funds from being used to punish financial institutions serving cannabis businesses.

“Cannabis companies shouldn’t be punished for employing millions of American workers and contributing billions of dollars to the economy,” said Terry Holt, NCR spokesman. “This is an important step toward ensuring access to banking services for the thousands of businesses who are inevitably intertwined with lawful and regulated cannabis businesses.”

The language would prohibit the Treasury Department Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which enforces federal anti-money laundering (AML) rules, from bringing an enforcement action against a financial institution for providing financial services to a state-legal marijuana business. While not binding on the federal bank regulatory agencies (FRB, FDIC, OCC), which are self-funding, it sends a strong signal to them as well.

The full language can be viewed below:

“SEC. 633. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to penalize a  financial institution solely because the institution provides financial services to an entity that is a manufacturer, a producer, or a person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana proceeds, and engages in such activity pursuant to a law established by a State, political subdivision of a State, or Indian Tribe: Provided, That the term ‘‘State’’ means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, and any territory or possession of the United States.”

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