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The Loudmouth Project

The Marijuana Money Dilemma

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.

About the author, Amy

For nearly three decades, Amy has been telling other people’s stories. As a professional journalist, she’s covered everything from crime to education, spending the last 19 years in sports. As an award-winning writer and columnist, she wrote about high school and college athletics, as well as covering six Olympic Games. Born in Utah, Amy moved to Alaska in junior high and graduated from Robert Service High School in Anchorage. She graduated from both Snow College and the University of Utah, and she has worked as a journalist in Salt Lake City since 1990. She co-hosted a high school radio show for over a decade, and she co-founded Voices of Reason podcast with her Deseret News colleague Jasen Lee. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a devoted foster to animals hoping to find a home of their own.

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