Senate panel votes to give pot shops access to banks

Senate panel votes to give pot shops access to banks
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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 16-14 on an amendment that would prevent federal funds from being used to prohibit or penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses in states where it’s legal.

“In both the medicinal world and recreational world, they are rarely able to be served by our banks because of the federal law and that results in a huge cash economy that is an invitation to crime and malfeasance,” said Democratic Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Democrat releasing book on Trump admin's treatment of migrants at border Sunday shows - Amash, immigration dominate Merkley on delaying endorsement: 'We have a different set of cards this time' MORE, who offered the amendment.

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Merkley explained that pot enterprises legal under state law, such as those in his home state of Oregon, cannot put money into bank accounts.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (R-Maine) opposed the amendment because it applies to recreational use of the drug.

“This amendment very clearly states that it applies to medical marijuana and recreational marijuana,” she said.

The amendment was added to a bill that would fund Financial Services and General Government services for the next fiscal year.

Merkley, along with Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid Top Democrat demands answers on election equipment vulnerabilities Advocates frustrated over pace of drug price reform MORE (D-Ore.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (R-Colo.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race MORE (D-Colo.), recently introduced similar legislation that would allow legal marijuana businesses to access banking services.