LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The House of Representatives late Wednesday voted to pass a bill protecting banks that work with marijuana companies.
Despite a majority of states having legalized medical or recreational marijuana, the substance is still illegal under federal law. This makes banks and credit unions wary of doing business with the industry because of the threat of criminal prosecution.
This means marijuana businesses can’t do things like accept credit cards
“Some people don’t carry cash around with them. So, it really affects us and the medical patient,” said Joshua Long, a budtender at The Peak Cache Dispensary.
This forces marijuana businesses to operate only in cash, which can be not only ineffective but also extremely dangerous.
“It’s really going to be where we feel safer," said Long. "We’re going to keep less money in the safe. We’re going to keep less money in the drawers. So, I think it’s going to be a big plus for us and all of the other dispensaries.”
The SAFE Banking Act would provide protections for financial institutions that choose to work with the marijuana industry. It is the first standalone marijuana reform bill to ever clear a chamber of Congress; however, the legislation faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.