In a historic 321 to 103 vote, the United States House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses that are legal under state law.
The measure now heads to the Senate, where its passage would send it to President Trump for consideration. Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo has said he wants to consider similar legislation in the coming months, notes Reuters, but it is not clear if the full Senate will vote on such a measure, analysts say.
“Some Republicans are wary of giving banks the green light to engage in marijuana business while it is still federally illegal”, says Reuters. “And some Democrats have said they would rather consider broader legislation around marijuana legalization or criminal justice reform rather than a targeted banking bill.”
The bill clarifies that proceeds from legitimate cannabis businesses would not be considered illegal, and directs federal regulators to write up rules for how they would supervise such banking activity.
Banks have thrown their weight behind the legislation, telling lawmakers they need clarity on whether they can do business with cannabis companies where it is legal at the state level despite the fact that marijuana remains illegal