State treasurers want meeting with AG Jeff Sessions about cannabis
Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, even as 29 states have legalized pot in some form.State treasurers from California, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania told Sessions in a letter Thursday that businesses and banks need greater clarity on how federal law enforcement will respond to the growing legalization trend.
Legal pot sales for adults kicked off in the state on Jan. 1, but many banks don’t want anything to do with pot money for fear it could expose them to legal trouble from the federal government.
That’s left many businesses to operate largely in cash, which can make them a target for theft while posing risks for cannabis workers and the public.
Financial institutions need “some comfort that they will not be prosecuted, or lose access to customer assets, simply for banking this industry,” said the letter, also signed by several cannabis industry groups and the Maine Credit Union League.
Congress this month extended restrictions that prevent the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in legal-pot states.
Chiang, a Democratic candidate for governor, earlier formed a task force in an attempt to resolve banking problems for the marijuana industry.