Senate Approves DiSanto Cannabis Banking Bill

HARRISBURG—Today the Senate gave its bipartisan approval of legislation authored by Senators John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) and Sharif Street (Philadelphia) to afford state-legal cannabis businesses better access to banking and insurance services.

Senate Bill 1167 authorizes, but does not require, financial institutions and insurers to provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses. The bill also protects against state penalties for banks and insurers that service the industry. This codifies the existing climate of regulatory non-enforcement.

Despite the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) 2014 guidance for servicing cannabis-related businesses, federal prohibition maintains business proceeds may be considered a federal crime. This greatly restricts access to conventional banking and insurance services. The state-legal cannabis industry has been forced to operate in cash and be targeted for armed robberies that jeopardize patients, employees, and communities.

Pennsylvania is one of 37 states having legalized medical cannabis. This quickly emerging industry has brought new businesses, jobs, and investment to Pennsylvania and has provided several hundred thousand patients access to safe and regulated products for the treatment of health conditions. 

“Improved access to financial and insurance services is vital for protecting public safety and is essential to operate any legal business,” DiSanto said. “Banking this cash safely in Pennsylvania will grow our economy and lower costs for medical cannabis consumers.”

Senate Bill 1167 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

 

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman 717-787-6801 cerdman@pasen.gov