A Pennsylvania General Assembly bill would protect banks, credit unions, and insurance companies that do business with legal cannabis companies in their state.
Bill 331 amends Title 12, Commerce and Trade, of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, “providing for legitimate cannabis-related business and incentive-based savings program; and imposing a penalty,” reads the bill.
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Now, Gov. Tom Wolf is considering the bill, which was sent to his desk July 7, after passing Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives and being amended by the state senate.
“The law would prevent prosecution only under state laws, not federal statutes,” said Meredith Buettner, executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition. “Even after passage, the bank still may not be safe from the possibility of federal prosecution or interference.”
“I expect the law to improve cannabis industry access to banking services,” said Jordan Grant, director of government relations with the industry group Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.
After the Senate rejected the SAFE Act and therefore the Marijuana Banking Bill is still not a part of the America COMPETES Act, hopes for federal cannabis banking reform remain on hold.
“Legal cannabis companies do not have access to banks or the insurance market the way other businesses do,” said Michael H. Sampson, co-leader of the Cannabis Industry Group at the Downtown Law Offices of Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl.
However, cannabis sales in PA are estimated to total between $1.6 billion and $2 billion this year and grow from $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion, through its medical marijuana program.
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Moreover, doctors in PA can prescribe cannabis for different medical conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, marijuana patients and caregivers have received marijuana cards in the state that allows them to purchase cannabis at dispensaries.
So, fingers crossed.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.