Oregon’s Marijuana Banking Industry
Cannabis companies struggle to get access to banking services because marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug. The categorization prohibits firms within the industry from tax breaks and makes filing taxes a nightmare. The Oregon House of Representatives has agreed 56-3 in favor of state regulation that excludes banks and credit unions from any state liability when conducting cannabis financial services. Oregon is working towards protecting banks and credit unions who previously shied away from cannabusiness due to fear of losing their FDIC licensing. If Oregon proceeds with passing state policy and if the Senate passes the bill we will see other states adopting similar policies.
The marijuana industry is cash-only and this is due to the lack of help from the financial industry. States like Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are pioneering the road to legitimization and as long as the supporters are collaborating and pushing for reform there will be continued pressure for Congress to address the legalization efforts and at the very least form policy to regulate cannabis production within the United States. The state and federal government need to work together in order to govern cannabis tax revenue, regulation, and safety concerns as the growing industry continues its broad expansion.