California Cannabis Banking Study
California Cannabis Banking Study – At a public hearing at the California State Capitol this afternoon, the Cannabis Banking Working Group (CBWG), chaired by California State Treasurer John Chiang, was presented with the results of an independent study that found that establishment of a public cannabis bank would pose too great of a legal and financial risk to the State of California.
“While today’s announcement may not lay out the path some of us had hoped, it did reinforce the inconvenient reality that a definitive solution will remain elusive until the federal government takes action — they must either remove cannabis from its official list of banned narcotics or approve safe harbor legislation that protects banks serving cannabis businesses from prosecution,”
Treasurer Chiang stated at today’s hearing. “Red, blue, and purple states — 33 so far — have legalized the adult use of recreational or medicinal cannabis. So it’s finally time that the slow, clunky machinery of the federal government work, in a bipartisan fashion, to change federal law to reflect the values and a growing consensus of the people it serves.”
Following the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 and the subsequent legalization of the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis that began on January 1, 2018, many of California’s cannabis businesses were left in a legal limbo, where they were classified as legal by the State of California, but still illegal by the federal government, since federal law categorizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
This stalemate created numerous banking issues for these businesses: by putting banks that might accept deposits from cannabis businesses at risk of losing the federal authority to operate, as well as forcing cannabis businesses to deal in large amounts of cash — making them targets for violent crimes and putting the general public in danger. Security and procedural concerns about dealing with a cash-only industry also created a nightmare for state and local government revenue-collecting agencies
We have obtained copies of the actual source documents for the study, and are sharing them with you.