The marijuana industry is barely scratching the surface as far as growth potential. Colorado sold roughly $700 million worth of marijuana last year alone, and that number will likely be dwarfed this year. Add to that every other state that allows at medical marijuana sales and/or recreational sales (coming soon to Oregon and Alaska), and that's a substantial amount of money. Now consider the fact that this multi-billion dollar industry is built entirely on cash. Very few marijuana companies have bank accounts, and the ones that do are in danger of being closed at a moments notice.
That's clearly a problem, and not just for the marijuana industry. Having that much cash around, for any industry, creates a public safety issue for society, in addition to the logistical issues for the owner of the cash. People wanting to rob other people with big piles of cash is a tale as old as time, and that's something that will never change. The banking issue has been coming up a lot lately, and earlier this month a bipartisan group of United States Senators introduced a banking reform bill that would make it easier for banks to work with cannabis companies. It sounds like that bill is getting a vote tomorrow in the Senate Appropriations Committee, per a tweet from the Drug Policy Alliance:
For obvious reasons, you should contact your Senators immediately and let them know that they need to support this bill. Not just for the cannabis industry, but for the rest of society. No multi-billion dollar industry should be barred from being able to put their money in a safe place. Below is a message from the Drug Policy Alliance:
This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on an important amendment to allow banks to provide services to marijuana businesses. This issue is crucial for protecting the future of marijuana legalization across the country.
Email your Senator right now and urge them to vote in favor of the Merkley marijuana banking amendment.
You can use a Drug Policy Alliance e-mail form to e-mail your Senators at this link here.