NEXSTAR (WASHINGTON D.C.)– The growing Marijuana industry could soon get access to something it has long wanted: the banking system.
Right now, federal law prohibits banks from doing business with legal grow operations, but Democrats and Republicans agree its time to make a change.
Legal Marijuana buyers could soon have the option of plastic over cash.
Republican Representative Steve Stivers shares, “The genie is kind of out of the bottle.”
The House recently passed the Safe Banking Act, which allows federally regulated banks to work with marijuana business legal at the state level.
Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter adds, “So that they can have payroll accounts, and credit cards and checking accounts which today they don’t have.”
Even some lawmakers opposed to recreational use, like Ohio’s Steve Stivers, say it’s time to let the banking business in.
Representative Stivers explains, “My position is opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana, but I want a safe and secure banking system and a safe environment for every citizen.”
33 states allow some form of legal marijuana use, and some experts think the industry could be worth as much as $50-billion a year in less than a decade, making it a major part of the economy.
Representative Stivers says, “We need the banking system to be able to operate in the world that exists, not some theoretical world that we all think should exist.”
The bill passed the House with wide support from Republicans and Democrats. Now it’s up to the Senate to pass it on to the President.
Representative Perlmutter shares, “I think it has a good chance of passing the Senate.”
Lawmakers say they’ve kept the White House informed of the issue, but so far haven’t heard which way the President is leaning.
Though medical marijuana is legal, North Dakota’s legislative management committee recently began debating the feasibility of recreational marijuana.