This week the US Senate by a 16-14 voting has approved business between legal marijuana companies and domestic banks. After Senate adopted an amendment according to which the federal government will no longer penalize financial institutions for cooperation with companies that operate legally in accordance with the state legislation.
Fearing to break the existing legislation on money laundering, some banks have declined to cooperate with marijuana suppliers. Sponsor of the amendment was Senator Jeff Merkely claiming that now this situation leads to political crimes, money laundering and theft.
All the Democrats voted in support of this amendment and most of the Republicans voted against, except for Senators Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy and Steve Daines.
Activists highly appreciated the adoption of the amendment. Den Riffle, director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said that currently on the account of Colorado companies are assets in amount of $ 1 billion and it’s almost impossible to keep these assets out of banks. In his opinion, some federal politicians trying not only to terminate marijuana business that operates legally, but its customers and employees as well. Looks like this policy is directed to destroy legal marijuana business.
This amendment is attached to the 2016 General Government Appropriations bill with some other good news for cannabis supporters. However, everything is not so smooth, the Senate does not trying to prevent Washington, D.C. from spending money on marijuana taxation.
It is worth noting that the president’s budget for Fiscal Year 2016 which doesn’t contain any information on the prohibition of Washington. Eventually the last changes in the law will be the subject of discussion between two legislative chambers and the administration.
This is not the first marijuana amendment adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee this year. Before that they voted to permit military veterans to consume legal medical marijuana, to stop federal authorities from intervention in state medical marijuana research programs and not give a chance to Ministry of Justice to put their nose into the state affairs, regarding the medical marijuana programs. It’s It is important to say that two of these amendments were approved unanimously by the House of Representatives.