California: Lawmakers Pass Measure to Encourage Banks to Work with Cannabis Industry

Sacramento, CA: California lawmakers have passed legislation, Assembly Bill 1525, that seeks to encourage banks and other financial institutions to partner with licensed cannabis businesses.

The bill reads, “An entity that receives deposits, extends credit, conducts fund transfers, transports cash or financial instruments, or provides other financial services does not commit a crime under any California law … solely by virtue of the fact that the person receiving the benefit of any of those services engages in commercial cannabis activity as a licensee pursuant to this division.”

The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom for final approval.

Few banks or other financial institutions provide services to state-licensed cannabis businesses because these relationships are discouraged under federal regulations. In recent months, members of the US House of Representatives on multiple occasions have passed legislation on the House floor amending federal law to explicitly permit banks to legally engage in such partnerships. However, none of these measures have been seriously considered by the Senate.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, or visit California NORML.