Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Urges Equal Banking Access for State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses

January 23, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers urged the U.S. Treasury to uphold federal guidance for marijuana-related businesses. In a letter, the lawmakers called on the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to maintain federal guidance allowing marijuana-related businesses licensed under state law to access financial institutions and banks without facing federal prosecution.

Eight states and the District of Columbia permit adult recreational use of marijuana. Twenty-nine states including Hawai‘i, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico allow medical marijuana use.

“Our outdated and contradictory federal laws on marijuana have created disorder in our economy, leaving state-licensed businesses and banks in confusion and uncertainty. For five years, our federal government ensured protection for financial institutions doing business with state-licensed marijuana-related businesses, only to face a complete reversal of policy under the Trump Administration,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Until we remove marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances List, we must uphold the 2014 U.S. Treasury guidance that improves public safety, reduces fraud, promotes opportunity, and strengthens our economy. That’s why I’m pushing this bipartisan initiative to ensure the U.S. Treasury maintains safe business practices and financial security for legal marijuana businesses in Hawai‘i and across the country.”

Cosigners of the letter include Representatives: Denny Heck (WA-10),  Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Don Young (AK-AL), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Dina Titus (NV-01), Tom Garrett (VA-05), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Jacky Rosen (NV-03), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Jared Polis (CO-02), John Delaney (MD-06), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Darren Soto (FL-09), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Michael Capuano (MA-07), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).



Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of H.R.1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list, as part of her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform. She has called for closing the gaps between federal and state law to resolve current contradictions and provide legally abiding marijuana businesses with clear access to financial services.


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