The House Appropriations Committee took up and defeated language known as the Safe Banking Amendment offered by Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH) on Wednesday, June 13th. The measure was designed to protect banking institutions that are willing to work with cannabis businesses.
The hope was that growers, processors, dispensaries and just about anyone else in the industry could move away from the cash-only mode, which is not only dangerous but prevents businesses in the industry from fully functioning as legal, tax-paying entities.
The defeat of the Safe Banking Amendment was not a vote about marijuana, but rather it was about normalizing an industry that serves hundreds-of-thousands of people in over half the states in the country.
As it stands, an estimated 70 percent of cannabis businesses have no financial institutions or banks to turn to for their cash transactions, which is a serious impediment to their functioning, not to mention dangerous.
According to New Frontier Data, an analytics company that monitors the industry, current cannabis earnings of around $8 billion in annual revenues are projected to reach $24 billion by 2025.
Ohio Rep. Joyce said the issue at hand for the amendment is not about cannabis, but rather public safety and financial transparency.
Several other Republican supporters of the bill were absent for debate, weakening Joyce’s ability to have a formal roll call tally for the amendment.
Prior to the vote, on June 7th, Joyce introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation to “ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.”