Cannabis banking bill advances in US House committee

DENVER (AP) — Proposed legislation that would provide federal protection for financial institutions that serve state-authorized marijuana and ancillary businesses has passed a U.S. House committee.

The Marijuana Business Daily reports the House Financial Services Committee voted 45-15 Thursday to advance the proposed bill after amending it to include provisions to provide a safe harbor for insurance companies and improve access of financial services to minority- and women-owned cannabis businesses.

The proposal now goes to the full House for consideration.

Banks generally balk at servicing the marijuana industry for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government, which still considers marijuana illegal.

As a result, a large portion of the fledgling industry is left to operate on a cash-only basis, which creates security, money laundering and other criminal concerns.