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Crapo plans landmark cannabis banking vote

Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo says he wants to hold a vote on legislation that would enable banks to serve cannabis-related businesses, in what would be a major victory for the marijuana industry and for lenders eager to enter the space.

In an interview with POLITICO, Crapo said he did not support lifting the federal ban on marijuana. But the Idaho Republican said he wanted to resolve legal and economic conflicts arising in the growing number of states that have allowed sales of the drug.

“We’re working to try to get a bill ready,” he said. “I’m looking to see whether we can thread the needle.” He didn’t give the timing for when the legislation would be completed but said he hoped to have the vote before the end of the year.

Crapo, who represents a state that has not legalized marijuana, had not previously announced that he was planning to hold a vote in his committee. It was the latest evidence that Congress is poised to give banks a legal safe harbor to serve the cannabis industry in the coming months.

The House later this year is expected to pass legislation that would shield banks from federal penalties if they work with cannabis businesses. [Read More @ Politico]

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