In this episode, Rep. Ben McAdams discusses the Safe Banking Act (H.R. 1595) with Washington Rep. Denny Heck. With 34 states legalizing marijuana to some degree, including Utah (medicinal), federal lawmakers are now grappling with how to allow those businesses dispensing or selling marijuana to use the federally insured banks or credit unions. Running cash-only businesses has made these dispensaries targets for criminals, and Rep. Heck shares a tragic story in his conversation with Rep. McAdams.
The Utah State Treasurer and the Utah legislature have asked Congress to solve the problem and the SAFE Banking Act provides help. Nationally, the financial services industry has been calling for guidance on how to do business with companies that are legal in many states but are not legal at the federal level. Compliance burdens and fear of violating anti-money laundering laws have kept the number of financial institutions willing to do business with marijuana companies to only a few dozen.