Cory Gardner will try to pass amendment in Senate to allow marijuana banking
December 14, 2018
Marijuana businesses in Colorado and across the country are anxiously awaiting a move by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, next week that could completely transform the way they do business.
Gardner plans to introduce an amendment Monday that, if passed, would let cannabis businesses open bank accounts in states where they're legal. It would exempt retailers from federal prosecution while still keeping cannabis a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it would remain illegal in the states that haven't legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.
"It would be monumental," Cannabis Trade Federation CEO Neal Levine said. "It would fix our tax problem. It would open up a lot of new options for commercial banking services, and it would end the threat of the (Department of Justice) kicking in our doors and seizing our assets."
The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act is a bill Gardner and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, introduced together this summer. Its purpose was to have federal laws basically mirror state laws when it comes to cannabis. The bill hasn't moved much since it was introduced, so Gardner wants to attach it to a criminal justice reform bill working its way through Congress during the lame-duck session.