Senator Jacky Rosen Pushes For Banking Access For Cannabis Enterprises

Las Vegas, Nev. - The cannabis industry faces a significant obstacle in the form of limited access to banking services, leading to concerns about security and financial stability. In response, Senator Jacky Rosen is spearheading an initiative to address this issue and provide cannabis businesses with the financial support they need.

Nevada cannabis producer Ed Alexander of SOL Cannabis expressed his frustrations, stating, "No Visa, no Mastercard, as a matter of fact, they've come out recently against cannabis." Alexander's sentiments echo those of many individuals in the cannabis sector who are seeking broader acceptance within the financial landscape.

Senator Rosen is leading the charge in Washington, advocating for the inclusion of cannabis businesses in the banking sector. She contends that these dispensaries contribute millions of dollars in revenue to their respective states and should therefore have access to fundamental financial services. The proposed solution to this predicament comes in the form of the SAFER Banking Act.

"These are just outdated federal policies that we have to change," Senator Rosen emphasized. Despite the legalization of cannabis for medical or recreational use in most states, the majority of banks remain reluctant to engage with the industry due to marijuana's federal illegality. Nevada legalized cannabis in 2017, but Senator Rosen has been a staunch advocate for cannabis businesses ever since. "They still haven't had access in all these years to the regular banking resources that any other small business would have," Rosen explained. This lack of access forces dispensary owners to rely exclusively on cash transactions, making them attractive targets for criminal activities.

Over the years, The Daily NYC has reported several robberies of dispensaries and cannabis delivery drivers in the Las Vegas Valley, with some incidents escalating to officer-involved shootings during apprehension. Senator Rosen contends that forcing businesses to deal exclusively in cash poses a significant public safety risk, not only for the businesses themselves but also for the wider community. "I've had our tax department come and talk to me about this because businesses have to pay their regular taxes or pay other things; they are carrying around large amounts of cash...It makes them vulnerable to attack," Rosen asserted.

Highlighting that 99% of businesses in Nevada are small businesses, similar to most cannabis operations, Senator Rosen firmly believes that these legally operating entities deserve access to banking and insurance services. "I just want our cannabis businesses to be treated like every other small business," said Rosen.

The SAFER Banking Act recently passed the Senate Banking Committee and is now poised for consideration on the Senate floor. In addition to banking access, Senator Rosen also envisions extending federal small business loans to cannabis businesses and plans to introduce a bill to make that a reality in the near future.