Bill to Form State-Chartered Banks for California Marijuana Industry in the Hands of the State's Lawmakers - MJ Global Report
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Bill to Form State-Chartered Banks for California Marijuana Industry in the Hands of the State’s Lawmakers

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California marijuana industry

Just a year later, again the bill that would enable the California marijuana industry to access the banking services from the state-chartered financial institutes, as well as credit unions, will be put on the sword. A year ago, a similar attempt to pass the state legislature failed.

So, will the lawmakers finally go ahead with the bill this time?

One thing is clear, the legal marijuana industry in California is struggling to compete favorably in the black market. The primary reason is that it faces great challenges, which include banking access as well as high taxes.  

State of the Proposed Law

For instance, Senate Bill 51 is meant to allow the state to license various private banks to easily handle the billions of dollars which are generated by the state’s legal cannabis industry.

The current situation in the state is that the pot retailers, as well as other cannabis companies, have been stopped from the long-established banking system.

Therefore, it means that the measure will now allow the
credit unions and private banks to safely apply for a state-charter to enable them to offer depository services to all licensed marijuana businesses.

As a common procedure for all state bills with a fiscal impact, the state Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday sent the SB 51 to the suspense file with the hearing staged on Thursday. It’s on that day that the committee members will determine the fate of the bill.

But Why are the Banks Scared?

At a glance or by far the bill is genuinely required to go through as it will benefit the state. However, there’s one side effect of the bill as well. The unfortunate negative could be the concentration of marijuana business assets into one or a plethora of easily identifiable institutions which may render them cheap targets of the federal law enforcement action.

Therefore, the banks are scared of the expense and trauma of exposing themselves. For that matter, the cannabis business which includes pot shops has no option than to deal principally in cash given that there are federal banking limitations which make it next to impossible for them to create accounts with the federally chartered banking institutions.

Besides, there’s an effort in place in the federal level aimed to get the legislation passed to enable banks into serving the cannabis-associated businesses without any risk of being prosecuted.

Significance of the Bill

Undoubtedly, marijuana businesses, as well as their employees, make large amounts of cash. So, it makes cannabis customers targets of violent crime as there’s a lot of money in the streets.

The solution lies with the banking relationship, which will help both the law enforcement officials as well as regulators to distinguish legal marijuana businesses from the illegal market operators.

Subsequently, the bill will set up some special checks for cannabis businesses as a way of paying state as well as local taxes, rent, and fees.

A Big Concern on the Cards

Last year, a similar bill didn’t pass the legislature with cost concerns being mentioned as the primary reason for the denial. The lawmakers hinted that new state workers need to be hired, which could cost almost $2 million a year.

Therefore, the same concerns may as well come up again, and according to industry observers, similar lawmakers opposing the cannabis sales may be watching from a corner. Nevertheless, it’s just a matter of time before we learn the fate of the bill.

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Photo by Jamie McInall from Pexels

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Country doctors concerned on Ireland’s night walk to legalize cannabis

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Ireland cannabis

As proposals to liberalize cannabis laws are expected before Ireland’s cabinet in coming weeks, a panel of 20 doctors have raised distress over what they termed as ‘increasingly relaxed attitudes towards marijuana amongst the media, legislators, and commentators.’

The claim is that cannabis has now turned out to be the ubiquitous thing linked to drug-associated admissions to psychiatric hospitals throughout the country, mostly.

Furthermore, it’s the common drug that is involved in the new treatment sessions at a plethora of addiction services in Ireland. The doctors’ concern is that drug’s use during teenage increases risks of mental illness as well as impairments to thinking and memory.

Personal Possession of Cannabis

The proposals aimed at liberalizing the country’s drug laws are due to be brought to the Cabinet of the country in the coming days by the Minister of State for Drug Strategy Catherine Byrne.

The plans are that individuals caught with a little amount of the drugs will either be referred to a counseling or addiction service rather than being prosecuted.

The proposals came after a working group set in 2017 spent more than a year trying to examine alternative approaches to personal possession of illegal drugs. However, the group chaired by retired judge Garrett Sheehan didn’t produce an agreed report over the same issue.

Decriminalization

According to the doctors, decriminalization and legalization is different but agreed that both medical cannabis and decriminalization campaigns have all proven to…

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Former health execs accused of medical pot smuggling in Minnesota

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pot smuggling

After months of legal battles over the felony drug charges against the former chief medical officer of Vireo Health, Dr. Laura Bultman, and Vireo’s downtown White Plains dispensary, has been upheld.

A Court of Appeals in Minnesota upheld the charges rejecting the officers’ bid to toss the charges.  The appellate decision means that a trial is more likely now.

The Accusations

The two ex-Vireo senior execs were accused of smuggling medical marijuana from Minnesota to New York. The accusations note that the two used the firm’s armored automobile to move medicated cannabis oil between two states illegally.

After reviewing the case as to whether the laws addressed the smuggling of medical pot across the two-state borders well enough, the court ruled that the law didn’t allow the transfer.

The Legal Argument

According to the Minnesota regulations, the apparent smuggling case turns out to point out various legal arguments. For instance, the first argument could be either that some criminals desperately smuggled the medical cannabis in the armored SUV packed with almost $500,000 of cannabis oil.

The other scenario is that maybe respected corporate officers would have transported (behind the masks) the state-licensed medical cannabis from the Minnesota-based company to the affiliate in New York.

Some aspects of the case also have few other connections to the New York State’s medical cannabis program, like allegations that the cannabis oil was illegally sold to patients which were later tested…

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Illinois Could End its War on Cannabis as New Equity-Focused Legalization Bill Lands

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Illinois cannabis

The land of Lincoln could soon become the land of legal recreational cannabis ending its war on cannabis. Governor J.B. Pritzker introduced the legalization bill recently, and if passed it would mean 12.74 million more of the American people would get a modern and functioning cannabis marketplace.

The Massive Bill

Pritzker announced the 522-page legislation bill and Democratic lawmakers would allow individuals with the age of 21 years and above to purchase recreational marijuana in the state of Illinois at any given licensed dispensary. 

The state currently has a prohibition on cannabis with only an exception for medical use. However, with the new bill, Illinois residents would have a chance of possessing 30 grams of cannabis as well as grow a maximum of five plants at their homes. The nonresidents will be allowed to possess up to a maximum of 15 grams.

Notably, the plan is to expunge what the lawmakers have estimated to be 800,000 cannabis convictions and hence allow individuals with those convictions to work in the marijuana industry.

Also, there’s a $20 million low-interest loan program for the minority-owned businesses hence promoting social equity in the industry.

The Bill Boasts Support

The bill is an amendment to Senate Bill 7 that is sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy and state Sen. Heather Steans – both Democrats who had proposed similar measures in 2017 which eventually got turned down under the former Gov. Bruce…

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