Weed banking bill moves to House

leaf for you
Claudia Weingart / EyeEm/ Getty Images
leaf for you
Claudia Weingart / EyeEm/ Getty Images

A bill that would solve the banking dilemma for cannabis businesses in Nevada and across the country passed a key House committee Thursday morning.

The Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), passed H.R. 1595, the Safe Banking Act, designed to alleviate the concerns that plague the banking industry when it comes to dealing with marijuana enterprises, given federal prohibitions. 

The measure, expected to be just the first whack at efforts to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, passed the committee 45 to 15.  Eleven Republicans voted for the bill.

Recreational use is legal in 10 states and medical use is legal in 33 states.  Both are legal in Nevada.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), a co-sponsor of the measure, tweeted Thursday morning that she’ll work to pass the legislation.

Earlier this month, Titus talked to Nevada legislators about the dangers inherent in forcing marijuana enterprises to operate as cash businesses.

“It is absolutely absurd – and downright dangerous – for legitimately operating marijuana dispensaries to be forced to only do business in cash,” she said. “We must free up the banking system to work with businesses that are operating legally and take the state out of the money laundering business.”

The bill “addresses an urgent public safety concern for legitimate businesses that currently have no recourse but to operate with just cash,” Waters said earlier in the week. “However, I also consider this bill as part of a holistic approach toward providing criminal justice reform to those who have been harmed by criminalization of marijuana and should not by any means be the only bill the House takes up on the important issue of cannabis reform.”

Here’s a list of the 15 Republican lawmakers who voted against the Safe Banking Act:

Peter T. King, New York

Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma

Bill Posey, Florida

Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri

Bill Huizenga, Michigan

Sean P. Duffy, Wisconsin

Ann Wagner, Missouri

Andy Barr, Kentucky

Roger Williams, Texas

Lee M. Zeldin, New York

Ted Budd, North Carolina

David Kustoff, Tennessee

John Rose, Tennessee

Lance Gooden, Texas

Patrick McHenry, North Carolina

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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