When the Senate Appropriations Committee killed an amendment last month that would have offered legal protection to banks that want to work with cannabis-related companies, they dealt a blow to an industry that, whether they like it or not, is on a serious growth trajectory.
Less than a week after the amendment was killed, Oklahoma, a deeply conservative state, became the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Voters in other states, including Utah and Missouri, will consider similar ballot initiatives later this year.
With cannabis now legal in some form in two-thirds of the states, it’s becoming increasingly ridiculous that entrepreneurs aren’t afforded the freedom to access traditional financing. But with cannabis still considered a schedule 1 drug (the same as heroin) on the federal level, it’s just too risky for big national banks to offer loans or lines of credit to cannabis companies. In addition, simple banking mechanisms, such as a checking account, are not afforded to cannabis related businesses.
Full Article / Source: www.forbes.com