September 25, 2019
LANSING – Taking steps to protect Michigan’s emerging marijuana industry and its consumers, Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a bipartisan group of 21 Attorneys General Monday, urging Congress to pass legislation that allows legal businesses to access the federal banking system.
Under existing law, financial institutions are prohibited from providing banking services to marijuana businesses in the 33 states and other U.S. territories where medical or retail marijuana sales are legal. As a result, businesses that comply with state law are forced to operate as cash-only businesses, posing serious safety threats and creating targets for violent and white-collar crime.
The legal marijuana industry employs hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide and is expected to provide more than 40,000 jobs in Michigan by the time the market is fully established, according to the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. It is estimated that the industry will generate revenue between $50 billion and $80 billion nationally over the next decade.
“All legal and legitimate businesses should have a safe place to deposit their revenue and not have to rely on under-the-floor safes to store their legally earned money,” Nessel said. “This is not just a states’ rights issue, this is an issue of safety. The expansion of Michigan’s market to include legal sales of recreational marijuana this year compels us to join this effort to ensure we protect Michigan businesses from becoming unnecessary targets of bad actors.”
In their letter, the Attorneys General say that the legislation (H.R. 2093; S. 1028) would provide businesses oversight and reduce the risk of violent and white-collar crime affecting the growing industry by allowing marijuana businesses to access the federal banking system. The “STATES” (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States) Act already has bipartisan support with 62 cosponsors in the U.S. House and 9 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate.
Nessel joins the Attorneys General of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in sending this letter.