New England Council supports federal cannabis banking
Since 1925 the New England Council has represented public and private organizations in the New England region. Over the years the cannabis industry has become a part of the New England landscape. Each state has legalized medical marijuana use and possession and three states have legalized marijuana for adults 21 years and older. Recently members of the New England Council made it clear that they support changes to federal law that would allow marijuana businesses to utilize banking services. The federal illegality of marijuana means that most banks will not serve cannabis businesses which causes most customers to pay in cash.
The Council is supporting legislation such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. If passed, the SAFE Banking Act would open the door to legally allow financial institutions to work with cannabis businesses. New England regulators are doing their best to ensure that cannabis businesses comply with state law but without access to banks some officials are concerned about the increased risk of tax evasion, money laundering, and robbery.