Just a year later, again the bill that would enable
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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