A congressional panel is holding Capitol Hill’s first marijuana-related hearing of 2019 on Wednesday, with several witnesses prepared to testify about resolving banking issues in the cannabis industry.
The hearing before the subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committees is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM Eastern.
Its purpose is to address ongoing challenges that marijuana businesses face when trying to open bank accounts, secure credit lines and pay taxes. While more banks are accepting cannabis accounts, many more remain fearful of federal punishment for taking on clients with ties to a federally illegal substance.
Watch it live here:
“Cannabis is now legal in some form or another in thirty-three states, but it remains illegal under federal law,” American Bankers Association President Rob Nichols said in a press release.
“This puts banks in the impossible position and also raises a host of public policy concerns,” he said. “And while we don’t believe it is our role to weigh in on the question of legalization—we understand the societal, cultural and moral implications of what the voters in these thirty-three states have decided—we do think it is time for Congress to step in and reconcile the gap between state and federal law when it comes to banking cannabis.”
Today, I’ll be presiding over Congress’ first ever hearing on marijuana banking. This conversation will be focused on racial equity, promoting small business growth, public safety, and ensuring state sanctioned companies can operate in a transparent way. https://t.co/JdJKlY3zfP
— Rep. Gregory Meeks (@RepGregoryMeeks) February 13, 2019
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, representatives from major financial institutions, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) executive director Major Neill Franklin and a D.C.-based medical marijuana dispensary owner are among those scheduled to testify, as is a representative of anti-legalization organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Stay tuned for more Marijuana Moment coverage of Wednesday’s hearing as it happens.