California Committee Passes Legislation to Legalize Marijuana Banking

Legislation that would allow for the creation of a special class of state-chartered banks and credit unions that could service California’s legal marijuana industry has been passed by a key Senate committee.

Filed by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D), Senate Bill 930 was passed recently by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee in a 6 to 1 vote, sending it to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Passage in the Appropriations Committee would send it to a vote by the full Senate. If passed by the Senate, and then the House of Representatives, it would go to Governor Jerry Brown for final consideration.

The proposed law would  allow for the creation of special state-chartered banks and credit unions that could legally process transactions by licesned marijuana businesses. These “marijuana banks” would be regulated by the Department of Business Oversight.

Proponents of the measure say it would  allow marijuana businesses to move away from the cash-only scenario most are forced into, which many argue is a security risk and puts the lives of those who work at such outlets in danger. Opponents of the measure – and there doesn’t seem to be many (at least many that are being particularly vocal – argue that allowing banks to provide services to businesses that are illegal under federal law is putting them at risk.

The full text of Senate Bill 930 can be found by clicking here.

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