Oregon Bill to Study State-Run Bank, Potentially Useable by Marijuana Businesses, Vetoed by Governor

Legislation that would study the creation of a state-run bank that could potentially be useable by marijuana businesses has been vetoed by Governor Tina Kotek.

House Bill 2763 was filed by State Representatives Mark Gamba and Jules Walters in the House and Senator Jeff Golden in the Senate. It was passed by the full legislature in June. The proposal would establish a 19-member task force designed to study the idea of the state operating a public bank.

Specifically they would be responsible for examining the “potential benefits and harms from the bank to state and local jurisdictions and private industries, including potential benefits and harms of a state bank engaging in lending, payments or providing other public financial infrastructure”, including “financial services for cannabis businesses.” A report would have been required by September, 2024.

Governor Kotek vetoed the bill based on “logistical challenges”. One such challenge outlined by the governor is that the department the bill tasked with overseeing the task force is already overseeing dozens of other programs.

A state-operate bank that provides services to marijuana businesses could be a vital tool for marijuana retail outlets who are legal under state law, but remain federally illegal meaning most banks and financial services will not work with them.

 

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