California Senator Proposes Banking Bill for Marijuana Industry | Marijuana

California Senator Proposes Banking Bill for Marijuana Industry

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Sen. Hertzberg, who represents constituents in the Van Nuys area of the San Fernando Valley, is looking to address a systemic problem within California’s marijuana industry – access to banking.

On Thursday, California Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-18th District), rolled out some potentially helpful legislation for the state’s swelling marijuana trade. Seeking to correct a lack of access to America’s financial institutions, the Senator’s bill would allow banks to conduct business with licensed proprietors in the state’s nascent marijuana industry.

SB 930, according to the Senator’s press release, would “integrate” California’s licensed marijuana businesses into the state’s $2.6 trillion economy.

“These businesses handle significant economic activity, yet they are forced to operate under the table and with little government oversight, as if they’re a black-market operation,” the Van Nuys representative explained.

By permitting licensed marijuana businesses to issue certified checks, conduct payroll, and pay their state and local fees and taxes in something other than cash – California’s newest industry will be intricately woven into the “fabric of the California economy,” according to Hertzberg.

While the passage of California’s Proposition 64 legalized the recreational use, cultivation, and sale of adult-use marijuana, SB 930 would finally create a state-chartered bank for the industry.

Fiona Ma, a CPA and member of the State Board of Equalization, views the issue as a matter of safety and supports the goals of SB 930:

“With Prop 64 now fully in effect, the cannabis industry is poised to become one of the largest cash-based industries in California projected to generate $8-20 billion dollars a year. Paying your taxes with duffel bags full of cash isn’t safe or efficient for anyone involved, but this is the reality for those legally working in the cannabis industry. There has to be a better way and I’m proud to partner with Senator Hertzberg to create a safe payment processing system for this industry.”

Although the City of Los Angeles accepts business tax payments in cash, California’s Board of equalization refuses to take America’s paper currency.

Main photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

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My name is Monterey Bud and I was born in Long Beach and raised on the central coast. I surf, dab, burn and write. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I have been writing about marijuana strains, science, and politics for Marijuana.com since 2012. A Big Sur cultivator from the pre-helicopter days, I'm a big fan of new strains and breaking news. I can be reached on Twitter @MontereyBud

2 Comments

  1. CA decided that the only weed you can legally purchase is the stuff grows sell to the state (which is dumb), who then sell it to you (double taxation bonus!). This has made California the largest cartel in the world (selling what is still federally illegal) and now they would like to get into the money-laundering racket. The only reason bankers don’t get involved with the marijuana dispensaries and grows is because the federal government can still rain hell down on them. So CA is looking for a way to keep big banks involved without putting said banks at risk. Sheltering banks from prosecution while allowing them to break federal law kinda, sorta, sounds illegal to me.

    Decriminalizing weed was good, how they’ve gone about it is stupid.

  2. You’re an idiot. California is trying to enact the will of their people. The feds like Sessions are bought and paid for by “big pharma”. They only represent the “legal” drug cartels and opiate pushers who don’t want the competition. Aren’t you tired of a bunch of corrupt old men thousands of miles away telling you what you can and can’t do based on who pays them the most? California or Colorado or any of the other states who have listened to their people are not the criminals you are trying to make them out to be but are the examples of what rest of the country should be doing in response to the archaic policies of the psychotically greedy and corrupt lunatics at the other end of the continent.

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