Washington Among More Than 20 States Urging Congress to Pass Legislation Making Business Safer for Financial Institutions Providing Services to Marijuana-related Businesses

04/15/2019
Safeguards are needed for primarily "cash-and-carry" marijuana related businesses and the financial institutions serving them

Olympia – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), along with a coalition of financial regulators from more than 20 states are asking Congressional leaders to consider legislation that creates a safe harbor for financial institutions to serve businesses operating legally under state law or entrusts states with the full oversight and jurisdiction of marijuana-related activity.

Director Charlie Clark and regulators from 24 other states and territories today sent a letter to Congress describing the well-documented conflict between federal and state law, which has created barriers for financial institutions desiring to serve businesses involved in state-licensed marijuana activities. They shared their concerns with respect to public safety, increased difficulty of tracking the flow of funds, and contributions to a loss of economic activity, workforce development, and community development opportunities.

“A majority of states now have medical marijuana programs and it has become increasingly necessary to craft policy to respond to emerging challenges in this rapidly growing industry,” Director Clark said. “Establishing a safe harbor for banks to serve these entities would help reduce the risk associated with large cash-and-carry operations and bring the safeguards, activities, and sales associated with this business into the regulatory reporting compliance framework.”

Media Contact

Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731 or CommunicationDir@dfi.wa.gov

DFI Main Phone Number
1.877.RING DFI (746-4334)