Robbery has stung states like California, Washington, Colorado and many other states, that’s the reason why the marijuana industry is doing what they can so that they press the Congress if they can change the federal banking law so that marijuana shopkeepers will not have to store a large amount of money in the store. Though it has not been successful because they have not gained the traction on Capitol Hill, making the marijuana business owners and the workers vulnerable to theft and crimes.
In those states that the pot is unfriendly, the GPO lawmakers have gone ahead to sideline the legislation and Senate, it gives the marijuana business owners go ahead and conduct money transaction with the federally regulated banks. Another thing that happened to the industry, is after last month the Attorney General Jeff sessions made it easy for those states that had already legalized the drug to federally prosecute so that to be able to enforce the federal marijuana law. Due to the announcement, the pot companies stock prices plunged and many investors became way wary in getting involved with the marijuana enterprise.
Michael Correia who is responsible for the lobbyist of the NCIA said so that to allow marijuana business to be banking like others there are strong law and order arguments that are taking place. He added that if they were allowed to bank they’re earning like other people, then they would be able to pay employees, easily pay the taxes, they will not have to conduct every transaction in cash and they would be able to separate from the illicit marijuana market.
The GOP leadership that is in Congress has not even shown that they are doing anything about the issues by going ahead to hold a hearing for the SAFE Banking Act so that the legislation would be free in conducting the transaction with those states that have already approved marijuana growers. That’s becoming so frustrating said Correia, who worked at the U.S Rep. George Radanovich, who worked at the California Republican and retired in 2010 said, “The people that are found at the leadership republican most of them will be old school people and they have no understanding of the legislation. That’s why they have not been any movement at this point.”
The stakes are considered in those places that have already legalized marijuana and the marijuana industry. A company that has been monitoring the marijuana industry New Frontier that is based in DC stated that the revenue that is generated by the marijuana business annually is about $8 million, and the figure by the time it’s 2025 it will have raised to $24 billion. The estimate was for the 70 percent of marijuana business which doesn’t have any relationship with the financial transaction and even paying the employees they use cash.
That’s why the criminals have been targeting all those greenbacks. Last month, there was a courier that was robbed over $9,000 in cash by a pair of thieves in the San Diego marijuana business. The Washington state is not different because they have been so many cases that have been reported by police, one that happened on September when one employee of a marijuana shop was shot and injured in the robbery process. In the Aurora, police are still in search of two assailants that were involved in the killing of Marine veteran during a robbery in 2016. He worked as the security guard of the premises when he shot in the head and died.
Marijuana proponents say that if the federal banking law was changed then it would protect them, but some of the opponents are against the motion that’s why they are pressing the congress members to reject the proposed SAFE Banking Act. The founder of the Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana Carla Lowe said, that the chaos that is taking place is so predictable. The tax collection process is being complicated by the marijuana industry alliance. In California, so that voters would vote for Proposition 64 it was sold to voters with the projection that will be able to generate more than $1 billion yearly when it came to the tax revenues.
That’s why it has been hard for the government agencies to be able to track sales form those businesses that use cash and it becomes even hard if the business cannot be able to access the banks too. In the case of Sacramento so that the marijuana shops to be able to pay their taxes they have to put the cash in duffel bags and take it to a specified location that has been kept secret for security reasons. “The whole process is still very far from being ideal,” said Joe Devlin, who is responsible for the marijuana policy in the Sacramento. He added that it’s so different when someone is coming to pay the parking tickets, but when someone is coming to pay tax in $30,000 in cash that’s something else.
Over the past years, the marijuana industry has spent so much and devoted their time so that they will see that the state legalization and the marijuana law has been reinforced. Which has been able to raise so much compared to the opponents like in the Proposition 64 it helped raised $25 million but the opponents raised only $2 million. The money process in the D.C. beltway in somehow reversed. The national Fraternal order of police that makes up the opponents of the marijuana legalization will spend millions each year on the contributions of lobbying and campaign, and that’s far more when compared with the pro-marijuana group, like the National Organization for the reform.
One of the people that have been consistently involved with the opponents for marijuana legalization is Sheldon Adelson, who since 1989 has spent more than $190 million just in the contributions of the presidential candidates and the members that are involved in the Congress. Though hard work has been seen in making the enhancement of the clout in Washington, it’s not easy at all, said Khurshid Khoja, a lawyer that is based in California who has been representing so many marijuana businesses.
Khoja added, “It has only been few years that people have not been treating us like a joke.” During those days of the lobbying at the Capitol, the advocate of the marijuana industry would only have a chance of meeting the staffs in the hallways. ”Last year was the first time that we had a chance of meeting the members of Congress,” Khoja said. “That’s a clear indication that we are making progress.”
There are GOP friends that can be counted on like the Matt Gaetz who comes from Florida, from California Dana Rohrabacher and Virginia’s Tom Garrett, who was responsible in the introduction of legislation so that to decriminalize marijuana this year. Another Republican is Sen Cory Gardner who is based in Colorado who in 2012 he opposed the state of marijuana legalization, but he has been criticizing directives of the U.S. attorneys. Last month, he has been retailing sessions so that to block the appointments that are being made in the department of justice.
John Kagia, who is the president of the New Frontier Data, said that if the trump administrations attempted in any way interfere with the marijuana law he would expect that the other lawmakers will challenge the administration. “The issue is being forced in ways that we haven’t seen in while by the Trump administration,” he said. For the SAFE Banking Act to be enforced, however, it will have to go through the committees of the House and Senate banking. In both, they will consist of the opponents of marijuana legalization. Advocates have been examining some of the alternatives that they have because they think that this year there is little hope that the legalization will go anywhere.
California is one state that is going ahead in the study how creating a bank that will be responsible for the marijuana industry will work out. But the proposal is not going smoothly because it has been facing many hurdles, one being that there is a startup on subsidy that the taxpayers will face.
Though it’s expected that the 2018 midterm election will be able to boost the prospect of banking reforms. Hensarling will not be in the re-election, meaning that a new member is expected to join the House Financial Services Committee. Also, the chance of the Republicans losing in the chamber of Congress is common too. “Democrats have shown that they will be friendlier to the effort of reforms and make an end to the prohibition,” Khoja said.