BANKING

Most banks can’t work with cannabis businesses, even if they’re legal at the state level. Why is this a big problem? Turns out forcing a multi-billion dollar industry to rely on cash for all its finances can make things pretty complicated. It can make things dangerous too.

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LET’S BREAK IT DOWN

If you’ve ever been to a cannabis dispensary, you may have noticed that paying can sometimes get… weird. That’s because federal law prohibits banks from providing financial services to businesses that are involved with Schedule 1 drugs, and cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug. As a result, cannabis businesses need to operate exclusively in cash or find complicated ways to legally work within the restrictions.

  • Cannabis businesses are attractive targets for robbery since they tend to have a lot of cash on hand. This puts employees and customers in danger.
  • Without access to traditional loans from banks, it’s even harder for people who don’t have a lot of money to open cannabis businesses. Wealthy people with access to different sources of funding don’t need to rely on banks to enter the industry.
  • Legalizing cannabis at the federal level would solve the banking problem, but it’s not the only way to address it. In fact, a bill that would quickly resolve this issue—called the SAFE Banking Act—has already been passed by the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate.
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CANNABIS ISSUES

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EXPUNGEMENT

Countless Americans have cannabis-related convictions on their records that make it difficult to get jobs, housing, and education. Thousands more are still behind bars. Federal cannabis reform could stop people from being punished for something that’s legal in much of the country.

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SOCIAL EQUITY

Black Americans are nearly 4x more likely than white Americans to be arrested for cannabis offenses, yet only 2% of cannabis businesses are Black-owned. Social equity programs aim to address problems like this so the legal cannabis industry can create opportunities for everyone.

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SUSTAINABILITY

Cannabis cultivation can use a whole lot of energy. Federal legalization has the potential to create a more environmentally-friendly cannabis industry.

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CANNABIS IN COMMON

Head to the Cannabis In Common homepage to find out where out where your senators stand on legalization and take action!

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