Marijuana business banking set for consideration in House subcommittee hearing

Marijuana business banking will be the subject of a subcommittee hearing set for next week, the House Financial Services Committee announced Wednesday.

The hearing, before the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee, is titled “Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.” It is set for Feb. 13 at 2 p.m.

No witness list or any other details have yet been released by the committee.

Banking services to legal marijuana businesses have been a flashpoint both for financial institutions and federal regulators, particularly in states that have begun legalizing marijuana use. Federal law, for the most part, still classifies use (and sales) of cannabis products as illegal, regardless of state laws. As a result, financial institutions have been reluctant to serve the businesses without clarification of where federal law stands.

The situation became more complicated (and unclear) last year, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama administration policy that directed federal prosecutors not to target marijuana businesses that operate legally under state law.

Last June, shortly after she was confirmed as chairman of the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Jelena McWilliams said that marijuana banking would be an issue that her administration would bring a “fresh eye” to, although she offered no additional details.

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