Washington, DC: A majority of members of the US House of Representatives voted last week in favor of an amendment that restricts the Treasury Department’s ability to take action against financial institutions that possess relations with businesses engaged in state-sanctioned activities specific to cannabis commerce.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) states, "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used … to prohibit, penalize, or otherwise discourage a financial institution from providing financial services to an entity solely because the entity is a manufacturer, producer, or person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana products and engages in such activity pursuant to a law established by a State or a unit of local government."
Members of the House decided 231 to 192 in favor of the amendment. Forty-five Republicans and all but 12 House Democrats backed the measure. The amendment now awaits additional action by members of the US Senate.
In May, a majority of the US House of Representatives voted in favor of a budgetary amendment to the 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Appropriations Bill that restricts the Justice Department’s ability to take action against those who are compliant with state medical cannabis laws. However, members of the US Senate have yet to take any action on the bill.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.