Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today signed on as a co-sponsor to the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 (S.1726), bipartisan legislation originally introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), which would give state-compliant cannabis businesses access to the banking system. Sen. Reid’s support for the banking measure comes as Nevada’s medical marijuana program has begun serving patients around the state.
“Medical cannabis providers in Nevada are giving compassionate care to critically ill patients, and they shouldn’t be putting themselves in danger to do it,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “We thank Senator Reid for supporting a fix to an irrational policy that puts people at risk and forces businesses and state officials to deal with massive logistical issues.
“Ending the banking crisis would be a win for everyone from patients to regulators to small business owners, and we appreciate Senator Reid standing up for his constituents.”
S.1726 would open up banking access for state-legal cannabis businesses by protecting financial institutions against prosecution or asset forfeiture for providing services to those businesses. Sen. Reid and Sen. Merkley are joined on the bill by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).