The 2016 Election gave rise to political as well as legal activities surrounding marijuana policy, as people from eight different states voted in favor of the initiative for legalizing marijuana and its distribution for both medicinal use and non-medical purposes.
Despite the fact that the legal process has been set in motion across several states, cannabis prohibitionists, such as Jeff Sessions, can put obstacles in its progress, as he is to be appointed as the next attorney general. This has left many marijuana advocates, including the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), anxious.
However, earlier this week, Steven Mnuchin, Trump nominee for Treasury Secretary, showed opposition towards this trend, and indicated he will consider working with banks and other financial regulatory agencies to support the local marijuana businesses and level the playing field for them.
However, state-licensed cannabis businesses are confronting a number of conflicting regulations. More specifically, prohibitions laid down by the federal government are restricting marijuana businesses from turning to banks and financial institutions for monetary assistance and processing credit cards, making it difficult for them to make standard business deductions. Mnuchin stated that he was going to work with the President and Congress to evaluate the current tax code provisions, and determine which ones should be revised, retained, or eliminated to make sure that all businesses and individuals have fair playing rules to compete in the marijuana industry.
For any industry to operate effectively and safely, reliable banking solutions are of paramount importance. It is good to see that an increasing number of small financial agencies are starting to offer their services to businesses and individuals engaged in marijuana trade and commerce in compliance with state rules and regulations. However, the industry will still remain severely hampered if it doesn’t get access to proper financing and credit channels.
While Mnuchin’s statements are a glimmer of hope for businesses in cannabis trade, in the end, the responsibility rests upon the shoulders of Congress – not upon state lawmakers or the US Treasury Department – to enforce changes in federal policy. This will enable the increasing number of state-licensed businesses to operate just like other legal commercial entities in the country.
Several provisions are likely to be introduced in Congress in the near future that will deal with these federal banking issues, and NORML will keep both consumers and businesses in the loop as further developments are made.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]