Bill Creating State-Sanctioned Banks For Cannabis Industry Moves Forward In Calif. Legislature

May 22, 2019

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A bill to establish specialized cannabis-only banks in California has been overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate.  KVCR's Ken Vincent has more.

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and federally insured banks won't do business with cannabis companies.

Democrat Bob Hertzberg authored the measure.

POTBANKS-2-CC/HERTZBERG: “Until the federal government changes its policy, I believe we have a responsibility to step forward for public safety purposes, for accounting purposes to increase the ability for the state to gain taxes and the like.”

Some lawmakers blame the lack of a banking system for tax revenue from the cannabis industry falling short of state expectations.

In his revised budget released last week Governor Newsom slashed cannabis tax revenue projections by 223-million-dollars.

The cannabis banks would be able to accept cash deposits and issue special checks retailers could use to pay taxes, rent, or vendors and to purchase bonds or other debt.

(NOTE-The banks couldn’t issue checks to workers due to the federal payroll tax.)