As of April, Michigan has 260 recreational cannabis stores throughout the state and 410 medical marijuana dispensaries. Of those 270-ish spots, none are legally able to utilize good old-fashioned traditional American banking institutions.
Why? Well, because marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, which prohibits banks and credit unions from doing business with canna-businesses under the Controlled Substances Act, even though 37 U.S. states and four territories that have recreational and/or medical weed programs.
Calling bullshit on this crock of, well, bullshit, are 23 U.S. governors, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and one mayor, Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia, all of whom signed off on a letter calling for congressional leadership to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.
The act would not do anything for the legalization of marijuana (because we are, apparently, still waiting for that shit to happen), but it would "remove legal limitations and allow financial institutions to bank with state-licensed cannabis businesses."
This is the third letter Whitmer has signed in support of the SAFE Banking Act. This time around, she says that allowing cannabis-related businesses to bank is to "respect the will of the voters," 56% of which in Michigan voted to approve the legal sale of adult-use marijuana in 2018. Medical marijuana was approved statewide in 2008.
“Since 2018, our state has worked with industry businesses to pass laws to make cannabis safe and accessible," Whitmer said in a statement. "However, operating all-cash businesses poses an inherent danger for businesses in our state, and the SAFE Banking Act provides clear guidelines for our financial institutions to bank with these businesses. 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.”
According to the letter, medical and recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. were estimated to reach somewhere near $17.5 billion, almost all of which was from cash sales because, well, bullshit.
The full letter is available to read online.