A powerful U.S. Senate panel has moved to block an amendment to let marijuana businesses store their profits in banks. In a 21 – 10 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee table an amendment on Thursday that would have shielded financial institutions that open accounts for cannabis businesses that are complying with state laws from being punished by federal regulatory authorities.
Current policy, which forces many marijuana businesses to operate on an all-cash basis, is “a big problem because it’s great for organized crime, it’s great for money laundering, it’s great for theft and larceny, it’s great for cheating on taxes, it’s great for cheating on your payroll,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the sponsor of the measure, said in a brief debate before the vote. “We’re really facilitating crime by not enabling the banking industry to provide basic services.”
Tom Angell, Forbes CONTRIBUTOR, article at Forbes: Senators Vote To Block Marijuana Banking Amendment