Gov. Whitmer signs letter in support of marijuana banking regulations

Jun 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm
click to enlarge Gov. Whitmer signs letter in support of marijuana banking regulations

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bipartisan letter calling for the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would make it possible for state-licensed cannabis businesses to participate in the national banking system.

Canna-businesses across the country are currently prohibited from using banks, even if marijuana was decriminalized in their particular state. This opens up cash-only businesses to a variety of complications, including the very real threat of theft.

“Michiganders turned out in historic numbers in this last election to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and we must respect the will of the voters,” Whitmer said in a press release. “There is an inherent danger for businesses operating in an all-cash business because financial institutions are unable to accept the risks and penalties associated with providing service to this industry under current law.”

The letter, which was signed by Whitmer and 19 other governors on Friday, called for legislation that would “remove the legal uncertainty for banks and credit unions,” as well as reduce their risk, allow for financial transparency, and increase public safety. It also referenced the potential dangers of running an all-cash business.
“Without access to banking services, state-licensed cannabis businesses operate predominantly on a cash basis,” the letter reads. “This poses a significant public safety risk to customers and employees.”

In May, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a similar bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in support of the SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595).
This is just the latest of Whitmer’s actions to support the marijuana industry.

Another of her recent efforts is an executive order to establish the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, which would aim to create guidelines on implementing and regulating Michigan’s marijuana laws.
“This letter sends a clear message to Congress that our states are looking for a real solution to a real problem, and we support them to get this done,” Whitmer said.

Other governors who have signed on to support the measure include those in Colorado, Connecticut, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

It's a new era for marijuana in Michigan. Sign up for our weekly weed newsletter, delivered every Tuesday at 4:20 p.m.