Congress Rejects Bill That Would've Allowed Banks to Work With Cannabis Businesses

The difficulties for marijuana businesses to work with banks has been well-documented over the past several years, and it finally seemed like Congress would open the doors to make things work. But apparently they decided to continue making life difficult for cannabis companies.

The House Appropriations Committee rejected a measure that would've protected banks that open accounts with marijuana businesses. The bill would've prevented the Treasury Department from penalizing banks or financial institutions from working with cannabis companies if they were operating legally within their state.

Supporters of the bill framed it as a public safety and financial transparency issue. Many cannabis companies cannot work with banks, and therefore operate as cash-only businesses. This often makes them the target of robberies. 

A similar measure was actually based by the House in 2014, but the amendment didn't make it into the final funding bill for the Treasury and therefore did not become law. Since then, Republicans have been resistant to nearly all marijuana-related proposals. 

The unfortunate thing is many believed this banking proposal would pass. Several members from both parties indicated their support, but some supporters did not attend the vote and others said they weren't 100 percent sure about the actual proposal, which led to its defeat.

Can you name another legal business that's denied access to banks in America?

(h/t Forbes)


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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