Michigan Gov. Whitmer joins call to lift banking restrictions on marijuana businesses

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has joined with 18 other governors to call for legislation that would remove legal limitations and allow financial institutions to bank with state-licensed cannabis businesses.

Whitmer and a bipartisan coalition of 19 governors called on Congressional leadership to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.

“Michiganders turned out in historic numbers in this last election to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and we must respect the will of the voters,” Whitmer said. “There is an inherent danger for businesses operating in an all-cash business because financial institutions are unable to accept the risks and penalties associated with providing service to this industry under current law. This letter sends a clear message to Congress that our states are looking for a real solution to a real problem, and we support them to get this done.”  

Currently, financial institutions are prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act from accepting cash, checks or electronic payments from cannabis businesses. This leaves medical marijuana businesses in 34 states and recreational marijuana businesses in ten states with little to no option for banking. The SAFE Banking Act would remove this barrier and allow greater financial security and transparency for cannabis businesses.  

Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018. It became legal in December, but legislation for retailers has not yet been released.

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