By Anthony Martinelli

A resolution urging the federal government to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses that are legal under state law has been passed by an Assembly committee in New Jersey.

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee gave approval yesterday to Assembly Resolution 183, which urges Congress to pass the federal “Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2017.” According to the resolution, this bill would prohibit “federal bank regulators from punishing banks that service marijuana businesses and by prohibiting federal bank regulators from discouraging banks to do business with marijuana companies”, which would “improve public safety in New Jersey and would allow marijuana businesses to fully utilize the banking services offered in the State.”

The resolution notes that “New Jersey, like many other states, allows for the production and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is effective in treating pain, muscle stiffness, nausea, lack of appetite, and other symptoms associated with serious illnesses like cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.” The resolution states that the legalization of medical marijuana “has been endorsed by the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the HIV Medicine Association, and many other medical organizations.”

The resolution continues; “However, current federal law makes it difficult for persons engaged in the medicinal marijuana trade to keep their business’s assets in banks, since both the persons engaged in the medicinal marijuana trade and the banks fear reprisal from the federal government. This causes many people engaged in the medicinal marijuana trade to keep their business assets entirely in cash. This is dangerous, since it encourages armed robbery and other crimes against these businesses. It is also inefficient, since it involves counting and transporting large amounts of cash, and it excludes this capital from the market.”

The full text of Assembly Resolution 183 can be found by clicking here.

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