DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On July 18, the House of Representatives voted in favor of an amendment designed to make it easier for banks to do business with marijuana-related businesses.
While the actual effect of the amendment is likely to be minimal, as it pretty much just allows the U.S. Treasury to continue implementing its existing guidelines, it shows a clear trend toward a loosening of anti-marijuana sentiment in the government. So, what exactly is the significance of this latest development, and who will be the big winners?
What the “Heck amendment” does
Basically, the amendment prevents the SEC and the U.S. Treasury from penalizing banks for lending money and engaging in other banking activities with marijuana-based businesses in states where it is legalized.
The bill rejects an attempt to block recent guidance issued by the Treasury telling banks how to report on their marijuana-related business without violating federal money-laundering laws.