BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS URGES FINCEN TO STAY THE COURSE ON CANNABIS BANKING
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), today urged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to keep in place guidance that has enabled some financial institutions to provide banking services for legitimate cannabis businesses in states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis.
In addition to Merkley and Murkowski, today’s letter to FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco was signed by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Rand Paul (R-KY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
“We urge FinCEN to preserve this guidance to continue to support banking infrastructure and access to financial institutions for businesses that are operating in accordance with state and local law and abiding by 8 other stated factors in your guidance,” the Senators wrote. “FinCEN’s stated priorities have allowed such businesses to conduct commerce more safely through financial institutions which reduces the use of all cash, improves public safety, and reduces fraud…. This guidance must remain intact because the risks involved in removing it are too great.”
The Senators’ letter follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attack earlier this month on states’ rights to set their own cannabis laws. The Sessions decision throws into chaos years of work to create a safer, more stable market, and threatens to drive cannabis sales back underground into the dangerous black market.
The full text of the letter can be found here.
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