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Banks Willing to Work With Marijuana Business, But Waiting for Federal Clarification

October 30th

OLYMPIA, WA — Many banks in Washington State are willing to provide financial services to the state’s new recreational marijuana industry, but are unable to under current federal law. Reported this week in the Daily Herald: Marijuana businesses, even ones that will soon be legally licensed in this state, are considered criminal enterprises under federal […]

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SOURCE: Banks Willing to Work With Marijuana Business, But Waiting for Federal Clarification by

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Congressional Reps Urge New Direction with New Drug Czar Pick

September 30th

WASHINGTON, DC – Five Democratic members of Congress are calling on President Obama to use the naming of a new drug czar as an opportunity to take a big step toward fully embracing a drug policy based on science, reason, and facts. The five representatives made their call in a letter sent to the White House Thursday. The […]

Read Congressional Reps Urge New Direction with New Drug Czar Pick in its entirety on The Daily Chronic.

Want to stay up to date on marijuana reform & cannabis news worldwide? Visit The Daily Chronic - The Voice of the Reform Generation, the most comprehensive coverage of the cannabis community!

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WA, CO Congressmen Introduce Federal Bill to Allow Banking for Marijuana Industry

July 11th

WASHINGTON, DC — US Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced a bill Wednesday, along with 16 bipartisan co-sponsors, to reform federal banking laws as they apply to marijuana related businesses, both in the existing medical marijuana industry and the forthcoming recreational marijuana industry in their respective states.

The bill, US House Bill 2652, the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013, would allow regulated, state authorized marijuana businesses — either medical or recreational — to have access to financial institutions.  The bill would update federal banking rules to resolve conflicts between federal and state laws, promoting community safety and financial security, according to the bill’s sponsors.

Currently, even the most basic banking services, such as business checking accounts or merchant credit card processing services, are largely unavailable to the marijuana industry.

Federal regulators impose stiff punishments and penalize banks and their employees for providing services to marijuana related businesses. The result is legitimate, licensed and regulated businesses have extreme difficulty accessing the banking system to accept credit cards, deposit r. . . . . READ MORE

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WA, CO Congressmen Introduce Federal Bill to Allow Banking for Marijuana Industry

July 11th

WASHINGTON, DC — US Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced a bill Wednesday, along with 16 bipartisan co-sponsors, to reform federal banking laws as they apply to marijuana related businesses, both in the existing medical marijuana industry and the forthcoming recreational marijuana industry in their respective states.

The bill, US House Bill 2652, the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013, would allow regulated, state authorized marijuana businesses — either medical or recreational — to have access to financial institutions.  The bill would update federal banking rules to resolve conflicts between federal and state laws, promoting community safety and financial security, according to the bill’s sponsors.

Currently, even the most basic banking services, such as business checking accounts or merchant credit card processing services, are largely unavailable to the marijuana industry.

Federal regulators impose stiff punishments and penalize banks and their employees for providing services to marijuana related businesses. The result is legitimate, licensed and regulated businesses have extreme difficulty accessing the banking system to accept credit cards, deposit revenues, or write checks to meet payroll or pay taxes.

This forces legal, state-compliant marijuana businesses to operate as cash-only enterprises, inviting crimes such as robbery and tax evasion, adding to the burden of establishing a leg. . . . . READ MORE

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First Hemp Flag in 80 Years to Fly over US Capitol on 4th of July

July 3rd

WASHINGTON, DC — The flag flying over the US Capitol building on the 4th of July will be made of hemp, and it is believed to be the first time since the 1930′s that a flag made out of hemp has flown over the capitol building.

The flag will fly over the building for one day, the Fourth of July, before it is taken to Colorado to fly over the state Capitol building, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Colorado pro-hemp advocate Michael Bowman came up with the idea while he was lobbying Congress to include hemp measures in the farm bill, the Post said.

The legislation failed, but with help from Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who worked with the Capitol’s flag office to arrange for the flag to be flown, the hemp flag idea was successful. Under the Capitol’s flag program, which sells the flags flown over the building, a new flag is flown almost every day.

“It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman told the Post, adding that flying the hemp flag on America’s birthday was appropriate.

After the flag’s one day cameo over the US capitol, it will fly over the Colorado state capitol in Denver before it is sent out on a tour of state houses in states where there’s legislation pending — or already passed — that would legalize industrial hemp cultivation.

The first flag created by Betsy Ross was. . . . . READ MORE

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Good, Bad Drug Measures Die Along with Farm Bill

June 20th

WASHINGTON, DC — The Farm Bill (House Bill 1947) died in the House Thursday morning as Democrats rebelled against deep cuts to food stamps. The vote to kill it came after the House had approved separate amendments that would have allowed for limited hemp production, but also would have allowed states to require drug tests for food stamp applicants.

But before the overall bill died, hemp advocates were able to pass an amendment offered by Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) that would allow hemp to be grown for research purposes. The amendment passed 225-200, despite a last-minute lobbying blitz against it from the DEA, complete with a DEA talking points memo obtained by the Huffington Post.

Still, despite the DEA’s concerns that allowing limited hemp production for research would make law enforcement’s job more difficult, a majority of lawmakers weren’t buying, and amendment sponsors and hemp advocates pronounced themselves well-pleased.

“Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug,” said Rep. Polis. “My bipartisan, common-sense amendment would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes . . . . . READ MORE

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U.S. House Passes Amendment to Protect State Rights to Grow Hemp for Research

June 20th

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced an amendment to H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, the Farm Bill, that would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp in states where it is already legal without fear of federal interference.  The amendment passed today by a vote of 225 to 200.

“Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug,” said Rep. Polis. “My bipartisan, common-sense amendment, which I’ve introduced with Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal. Many states, including Colorado, have demonstrated that they are fully capable of regulating industrial hemp. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. The first American flag was made of hemp. And today, U.S. retailers sell over $300 million worth of goods containing hemp—but all of that hemp is imported, since farmers can’t grow it here. The federal government should clarify that states should have the ability to regulate academic and agriculture research of industrial hemp without fear of federal interference. Hemp is not marijuana, and at the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world. . . . . READ MORE

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