Congressman from WA: Let marijuana businesses use banks
Posted on August 23, 2013 at 5:24 AM
Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 5:24 AM
OLYMPIA, Wash.- A proposed bill could change the way legitimate marijuana distributors do business.
U.S. Representative Denny Heck, D-Wash., believes these businesses should have access to banks and credit unions.
The congressman is co-sponsoring a bill that would grant legitimate marijuana businesses access to the banking system. Rep. Heck said under the current law, banks providing services to them could face criminal prosecution.
He believes the bill would reduce crime and tax evasion within the marijuana industry.
"It is a cash only business and that's not healthy for anyone," said Rep. Heck.
Dozens of people attended a meeting at Olympia City Hall to hear more about the bill Thursday night.
Medical marijuana provider Angel Swanson said she has had multiple banks cancel her accounts. She believes the bill would make it easier to run her business.
"We had bank accounts with two different banks that both shut us down unannounced," said Swanson.
Marijuana grower Jeff Gilmore said the law would not affect him or his business.
Rep. Heck said the bill has bi-partisan support, but admits it could be an uphill battle to get it passed.